Five top picture books about living in the moment

Published on: 15 February 2024

Author Mariesa Dulak recommends some favourite picture books to share for a mindful moment.

In our busy modern world, it can be hard to just stop and enjoy the moment. I love books which encourage us to do this, especially picture books.

Because somehow the physical process of pulling a child onto your lap and sharing a book with them is a mindful moment in itself. You are taking the time to ignore distractions, forget your worries and immerse yourself in a story together. Then, afterwards you can re-read your favourite lines, explore the pictures, and swap thoughts about the world you've shared.

Here is a selection of my favourite picture books about living in the moment.  

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena and Christian Robinson

The book follows CJ and his grandma as they take a bus to the soup kitchen after church. I love the city setting of this book and how Matt de la Pena shines a spotlight on CJ's experiences, slowly revealing the beauty and wonder of everyday encounters. Robinson's use of colour echoes the busy vibrancy of city life, and his naive style can't help but draw in young readers.

On a Magical Do-Nothing Day by Beatrice Alemagna

In the book, we find ourselves in a forest cabin with a little girl who is bored on a dull and rainy day. But when she ventures outside, she discovers that the magical world of nature is waiting for her. As she drinks raindrops, collects stones, talks to birds, and notices bugs, she reconnects and relishes in the glory of the little things. 

Look Up! by Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola

And from the tiniest of creatures, we now venture up to the stars. In Look Up! we meet the inimitable science-mad Rocket who is waiting for a meteor shower and wants to encourage her teenage brother to look up from his phone. Bryon's text is fact-filled and thoughtful and Adeola's illustrations are modern and full of humour.

Here and Now by Julia Denos and E B Goodale

Here and Now takes us on a mindful journey by encouraging us to think about the book we hold in our hands and how it connects to the wider world. This book is a joy to read aloud, with the words and page turns dictating the pace and helping to ground young readers in the moment. Goodale's illustrations capture the mood perfectly with wispy brushstrokes.

The Swing by Britta Teckentrup

The Swing is an original, thought-provoking picture book following the lifecycle of a swing and its many visitors via a scattering of glimpsed snapshots. We observe the passing of time, lives being lived and lost, decisions being made, dreams and secrets being shared, the light and shade of friendship, family, love, and life. Britta says so much with so few words and her illustrations are magical and full of meaning.

There’s a Tiger on the Train by Mariesa Dulak and Rebecca Cobb is out now.

Topics: Features

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