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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Golden Sparkles: An Introduction to Mindfulness is an educational picture book for children written by Catarina R. Peterson and illustrated by Mateya Arkova. In her preface to this book, Peterson discusses what is known as mindfulness and how being mindful helps us learn “to pay attention to our inner lives.” While many adults currently practice and benefit from mindfulness, children are often not initiated into the practice and lose the benefits of being mindful. In her story, Peterson discusses how being mindful is like a spark, a golden sparkle that makes everything seem bright and good. She shows how it doesn’t matter where one is or how one is feeling; mindfulness can dispel sadness, boredom and bad tempers. Arkova’s illustrations show how children can practice mindfulness or cultivate their own spark. The authors include a glossary of terms as well as a number of mindfulness exercises that caregivers can share with children.
Catarina R. Peterson’s educational picture book for children, Golden Sparkles: An Introduction to Mindfulness, is a lush and lovely book that illustrates how one can change one’s state of mind by practicing mindfulness. I loved how the book showed kids from all walks of life and locations, letting kids know that they too can learn mindfulness and feel as good as the kids shown in the pictures. The Golden Spark is a wonderful device that offers kids a concrete way to understand what is an abstract notion -- seeing those smiling kids carrying their own golden spark is guaranteed to put a smile on every young reader’s face. Mateya Arkova’s illustrates are incredible. They’re filled with light, color and...mindfulness. There’s a sense of flow and peacefulness that exudes from each illustration and continues on into the next. I particularly appreciated how the Golden Sparks seem to tie in with the stars, the nighttime sky and nature. Peterson’s suggestions for mindfulness exercises seem perfect for getting kids to relax after story time as well. Golden Sparkles: An Introduction to Mindfulness is most highly recommended.