Relax a little… with these books!

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Things are tough right now. Politics; natural disasters; issues of race, gender, sexuality, and identity – it’s impossible for us or our kids to escape the sense of tension prevailing at home, work, and school.

As your local bookstore, we try to be a point of refuge and sanctuary for our community, but it can be hard to take that home with you. And, let’s be honest: a lot of books, for both kids and adults, can be pretty heavy, and sometimes you need a break.
In another post, we’ll talk about books that fight the good fight, but today I’m looking at books that encourage you to relax. Books that you can settle in your lap, open, and escape with.

I Am Yoga” and “I Am Peace,” both by Susan Verde, are wonderful picture books that promote mindfulness for children. Illustrated in soothing colors by Peter Reynolds, “I Am Yoga” takes kids through breathing and simple yoga poses for when “I feel small in a world so big.” “I Am Peace” focuses more on the here and now, how to center oneself and feel peace inside. It includes a guided meditation at the end of the book. Similarly, “Meditate with Me” by Mariam Gates guides children through breathing and relaxing, as well as awareness of emotions, asking questions such as, “What does happy feel like in your body?”
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Consider family read-alouds that everyone can enjoy and explore together. I love “James Herriot’s Treasury for Children.” Each short animal story is beautifully illustrated and full of warm fuzzies. And while not strictly a read-aloud, the brand-new “Harry Potter: A Journey Through a History of Magic” will likely appeal to everyone, with new art, magical activities, and trivia. It’s fun and absorbing to page through!
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Thieving Weasels” by Billy Taylor is a hilarious con story gone awry for teens. Skip has gone through great lengths to separate himself from his crime-riddled family, but when they track him down and demand he help in their latest scheme, he has to dive in or have his cover blown. But who’s really conning who?

And lastly, us grown-ups need our escapism too (maybe even moreso!), so I’ve got some of my personal favorites. If you’ve talked with me at all lately, you’ve heard me mention “The Hating Game” by Sally Thorne. No exaggeration, I have read this at least four times since June. It’s clever, romantic, and makes me laugh out loud. Also, when I need a solid read, I often turn to Neil Gaiman – the imagination behind his stories is incredible. We just got a great, illustrated edition of “Neverwhere,” and “Good Omens” is being made into a TV series, which is a great excuse to (re-)visit it!

 

Guys, give yourself a break, and read something fun.
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