By: Sara Taher
Illustrated by: Vanessa Moreno
Publication Date: May 20, 2023
Review Date: May 26, 2023
A beautiful white cat who easily gets stressed and frightened, but learns how to control those scary situations, is the first of a planned series of books focusing on mindfulness for children by author Sara Taher. Parents and caregivers take note - this is a fantastic start to this new series.
Laban (his name means yogurt in Arabic) has just been adopted and is getting used to his new home. Laban is a curious cat who loves to explore, but sometimes, not knowing what is around the corner can be quite frightening. In fact, just this morning, when Laban strolled onto the balcony "...suddenly, out of nowhere, a dreadful, dangerous, dark dragon came at me! Can you believe such a thing happened? I was Cat-rified!" But was it really a dragon?
It was, however, a busy day and there were more scary things to come. At lunchtime, Laban headed to the kitchen (he was sure he smelled fish - yum!). But as he approached the kitchen, he was sure he saw "...a wild ninja coming at me with shiny, sharp, shearing swords! It was terrifying! Can you believe such a thing happened to me? I was meow-struck!" But was it really a ninja?
There were more scary things waiting for Laban - would he ever get over his fears? Would mindful breathing help him?
Laban Learns Mindful Breathing is such a fun book that manages to entertain while also teaching youngsters an excellent way to deal with their fears. For each of Laban's stated fears, an illustration first shows what is really happening (the dragon is really a dragonfly, the ninja is a prickly cactus, and so on), so readers can see what the "thing" is before another illustration shows what Laban imagines the danger to be. Eventually, Laban is backed into a corner, literally, and closes his eyes. When the monster that is chasing him is still there when he opens his eyes, Laban decides to try his breathing exercises. The author, Sara Taher, does an excellent job, through Laban, of explaining just how mindful breathing can help overcome stressful, scary things. And through this relaxation process, Laban realizes that those things that were frightening him were really harmless. Adorable illustrations add to the tale to make Laban and his experiences come to life.
Quill says: An absolutely adorable book, Laban Learns Mindful Breathing isn't just fun - it teaches a valuable skill that children can use to overcome their fears. I can't wait to see what else Laban has to teach in his future adventures.
For more information on Laban Learns Mindful Breathing (Mindfulness for Children), please visit the author's website at: https://messymamasara.com/