Weather Any Storm
by Vanessa Zuisei Goddard
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Pub Date 07 Nov 2023 | Archive Date 14 Nov 2023
Shambhala Publications, Inc., Bala Kids
Learn to breathe through storms of emotions in this nautical meditation adventure.
Whether you’re grouchy or grumpy, gloomy or grey,
the Wildering Billies cannot get their way.
They yell and they shout and they cry and they weep
but your breath holds you steady way down in the deep.
When sailing through the open seas of life, the waters are not always calm. From out of nowhere waves of stress, worry, and anxiety—here personified as wild and furry creatures called the Wildering Billies—can rock our boat. Step by step, this story shows us how to calm the dreaded and colorful Billies, showing that their ruckus is no match for the stillness and quiet we can cultivate through meditation. By imagining ourselves as ships floating in the sea of our minds and anchored by our breath, we can learn to ride through the storms of life to smoother waters.
Inspired by her decades of Zen practice and work with children, Zuisei has created this delightful introduction to the world of meditation. The book ends with a helpful recap of the steps Stop, Imagine, Breathe, and Anchor, so kids can remember how to tame the Billies whenever emotions are overwhelming, sending them on their way.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 13 members
Whether Any Storm is a book to help teach children about how to control their emotions. The rhyming text was fun and engaging. My son stayed engaged throughout the story. He really enjoyed the colorful billies. It was also a great opportunity for us to discuss taking deep breaths and other ways to calm ourselves. The illustrations are beautiful.
Weather Any Storm is a cute children's book about breathing through any problems you face. I love that it was accessible to kids and modeled meditation in a simple but impactful way. I also think it spans age groups -- love that it's for 4-8 year olds. My son is 4 and he can enjoy the imagery of the storm and getting through it. It will grow with him and later he can learn more of the meditation aspects and how breathing can help him through hard times. Even as an adult I found the imagery and tips in it to be very calming and impactful. Highly recommend!
Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for this eARC. This book features rich vocabulary and practical tips for mindfulness and quieting the mind. Great SEL option.
I LOVED THIS. It was SO AMAZING. It gives young readers (and frankly older readers who just have a hard time admitting it) a visual for what anxiety can feel like, which can lead to discussion of emotions. WHICH I LOVE. I thought this was just amazing and it gave such useful tips on managing it! Could not recommend more.
This is such a good book!!! The illustrations are wo derful and makes you feel like you are in the water. This would be great for a home library.
With Goddard's memorable "Wildering Billies" and crisp meter, alongside Donnelly's wonderful oceanic illustrations, this is another excellent Buddhist primer from Shambala Press. The "Billies" are a great shorthand for younger students to remind them of the transitory nature of emotions. This book would be a great addition for a teacher looking for a social-emotional learning (SEL) book. While clearly rooted in Buddhist insight, it is not pushy about Buddhism and actually does not mention the Buddha at all in the text.
Challenging days can be difficult for children to face. It can be hard when the billies cause havoc in one's mind. Children are given tools to conquer these troublesome billies in this well illustrated story.
This book is a great addition to children's literature of encouragement in resolving negative feelings. The illustrations by Patty Donnelly compensate the text very well. The illustration of a boat being tossed around in a stormy sea is a relatable metaphor for children. A well-written book that provides children with tips for weathering the storm of life.
With a lyrical, rhythmic text and lovely, rather dreamy looking illustrations, Weather Any Storm offers up a way for children to calm down when caught in an emotional burst. Actually, the technique is applicable for anyone although, even as an adult, the sudden appearance of the Billies initially confused me. Once I figured out that they represent wildly out of control emotions, however, it made sense.
I won't detail the steps suggested but will simply say breathe seems to be the central force. Using the rhythm of the text and the suggestive image of waves rising and falling, the reader is guided through the process of escaping the Billies, ie out of control emotions and feelings, into a place of peace and calmness. The steps are repeated again in boxes at the end.
My only concern is that the book seems to assume both the adult reader and child (target age 4-8) have some background or familiarity with this concept. This may not be true and I'm not sure the typical, questioning child will fully grasp the concept simply by having it read to them. That said, once I figured where the author was going with the text/illustrations, I enjoyed the book and found myself nodding along in agreement, particularly when the author adds the comment that if you lose focus, simply stop and start the process over again. In other words, you are in control.
Thanks #NetGalley and #ShambhalaPublications - #BalaKids for a reminder of a potent way to calm jitters and nerves, even if it took me a moment to find my place in it. In this increasingly frantic, volatile world, we all need a way to center ourselves.