Breath Friends Forever
A Mindfulness Story for Kids by Kids
Published by: New Harbinger Publications
Imprint: Instant Help
From the creators of the hugely successful Master of Mindfulness, this charming children’s book for readers ages 4 to 7 tells the story of Nessa and Leo’s friendship, and how mindfulness helps them deal with strong emotions such as fear, shyness, and anger.
In Breath Friends Forever, best friends Nessa and Leo share their daily struggles—such as going to the doctor or being told “no” by their parents—as well as powerful mindfulness tips for dealing with big feelings like fear and frustration. Written and illustrated by a diverse group of kindergarten and fourth graders from Reach Academy in Oakland, California and designed by Angelina Manriquez, this fun and engaging book helps young readers learn how to be present in the moment and manage stress in their daily lives.
Through story and images, children will learn the shark fin technique—a powerful and effective tool for fighting stress—as well as the thumb technique, which will help them deal with moments of extreme stress or anger in the moment, when they may not have a lot of time to react or process things. Kids will also learn important emotion regulation skills that will help them thrive, well on into their adult years.
Early childhood is a critical time for brain development, and learning skills for managing emotions and stress early on can set kids up for a lifetime of success. Evidence now shows that age-appropriate mindfulness practices support brain development in ways that promote positive social and emotional learning, increase school readiness, improve self-esteem, and can even help manage behavior issues.
In addition to delighting children, this fun and unique book is a great resource for parents, teachers, early childhood educators, mental health professionals, and health care providers who use mindfulness practices with younger children.
“Breath Friends Forever validates what young people experience and gives them tools to deal with the stressors in their lives. In a time when mental health issues are on the rise among youth, this book is perfect.”~Janette Hernandez
—Janette Hernandez, lifetime educator serving public schools in the East Bay of San Francisco and mother of a 15-year-old
“Kids are our most powerful advocate! Allowing our students to learn this important life skill from each other may be our best bet for bringing peace into the lives of our children. Every child needs mindfulness, and with the use of Breath Friends Forever, we can give this tool to our youngest learners. It should be a mandatory read for all preschool to second-grade classrooms. If we could get Breath Friends Forever to every child, it might just change our world.”~Cindy Brown
—Cindy Brown, director of elementary education for the Fairfield School District with over thirty years in education in Fairfield, CA
“Teachers of young children—get this book! As a teacher of first graders for over forty years, I wish that I had had this book in my own classroom. In simple, relatable language, Laurie Grossman, Angelina Manriquez, and Ms. Moses’s class of fourth gradershave written a book that will capture kids’ attention and teach them the basics of mindfulness using accessible and authentic four- to eight-year-old language. Now, more than ever, we need books like this to help kids develop their own mindful responses to the challenges and opportunities in their lives.”~Susan Erb
—Susan Erb, founding and first teacher at Park Day School in Oakland, CA—a progressive, independent school
“Breath Friends Forever is something students, teachers, and parents can pick up and use right away. I find that when we have simple, effective strategies to regulate our emotions, we create much happier people and positive interactions. We can learn so much from each other; Ms. Moses’s fourth-grade class has great lessons for us all.”~Lori Vollandt
—Lori Vollandt, previous administrator of social emotional learning for the Los Angeles Unified School District, and founder of the social emotional consulting firm Achieve Beyond the Binder
“Mindfulness is not difficult. Ms. Moses’s class does an excellent job showing just how easy it is to remain calm just by focusing on our breathing. There are two wonderful skills taught in the book for children and adults to practice mindfulness.”~Jason W. Byars
—Jason W. Byars, president of the Georgia Association for Positive Behavior Support, and district coordinator of Project AWARE and PBIS
“Grossman and Manriquez help teach young people emotion regulation, anxiety reduction, and how to improve attention all while Leo and Nessa, the characters of the book, enjoy a birthday celebration together. This beautifully illustrated and easy-to-understand book unpacks the gifts mindfulness has to offer. These young children teach kids from five to 105 the power of breathing, mindfulness, and the value of the Sharkfin. If you don’t know what the Sharkfin is, you are missing out!”~Gina M. Biegel, MA, LMFT
—Gina M. Biegel, MA, LMFT, researcher; author or coauthor of several books, including Be Mindful and Stress Less, Mindfulness for Student Athletes, The Stress Reduction Workbook for Teens, and Be Mindful Card Deck for Teens; founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program for Teens (MBSR-T); and CEO of Stressed Teens
“I appreciate everything about this book. Breath Friends Forever introduces mindfulness in a way that not only teaches children to manage their own emotional states, it also encourages them to share their feelings with their friends and shows how helping each other with self-control is a part of friendship. This book also gives kids a way to make the shift from relying on grown-ups to calm them when they’re upset, to being able to regulate themselves and feel the difference. With these breathing tools, an upset child who tells her parents, ‘Go away, I want to do it myself,’ actually can! Just as Leo does with Nessa, the young authors of this book give their readers (and listeners) the best gift of all—the confidence to find a feeling of well-being by using their own breath.”~Sheri Glucoft Wong, LCSW
—Sheri Glucoft Wong, LCSW, family therapist, parent educator, and consultant
“Breath Friends Forever, from the creators of Master of Mindfulness, is my favorite new mindfulness book precisely because it’s not trying to be a mindfulness book! It’s a lively ‘how-to’ book about feeling and caring and friendship, with mindfulness brightly coloring the background. The fact that it’s a story ‘for kids by kids’ is just so cool and clever, but then you add in the crazy-fun drawings––and the occasional photo collage––and you have something that makes the message of mindfulness just jump off the page. Congratulations to Laurie Grossman, Angelina Manriquez, and Ms. Moses’s fourth-grade class for creating something fresh and exciting that will plant the beneficial seeds of mindfulness among a new generation of superheroes.”~Robert Thomas
—Robert Thomas, executive director of Mindful Schools
“Spearheaded by the indefatigable Laurie Grossman, who has been teaching mindfulness in school settings since 2007, this wonderful book is a collaboration between a classroom teacher, a group of preschool students, and their fourth-grade buddies. The result is a remarkable example of what mindfulness looks like from the perspective of children, and how it is helpful to them in real life. May Breath Friends Forever inspire teachers and parents to develop mindful books and similar creative projects in classrooms and with children of their own.”~Susan Kaiser Greenland
—Susan Kaiser Greenland, author of The Mindful Child and Mindful Games
“The wisdom and innocence of children shines through in this sweet, lovely book. Expressed beautifully through illustrations and a simple story, kids will be drawn to its essential message of kindness, awareness, and empathy.”~Richard Shankman
—Richard Shankman, cofounder of Mindful Schools