Gently, gently, young readers learn how to use mindfulness to push away intrusive thoughts in this brilliantly simple picture book, the first in the Books of Great Character series.
Izzy, a mouse in a jaunty striped top, has a "sort of grumpy" thought: "One little thought bubble. It bubbled up one day, a rough day, and just hung there." This thought, represented by a transparent grey bubble filled with squiggles, multiplies ("pop-pop-popping up") into many colorful bubbles, casting a "super shadowy shadow" on Izzy's day. The lightly colored bubbles intensify in hue until they are incandescent shades of red, orange, yellow and blue; Izzy herself changes from soft blue to angry red when the bubbles fill the scene and push her "clean off the page." What's an overwhelmed mouse to do? Izzy decides to go to a beach where there is "a little more space for all the bubbles." Taking a deep breath in, letting the deep breath out, she blows those bubbles away.
Christine Peck and Mags DeRoma are the founders of boutique children's brand Silly Street, whose mission is to help children grow character through play. DeRoma's charming digital illustrations use color and space to creative advantage in this minimally worded picture book, capturing the feelings that small children might not yet have words for. Too Many Bubbles introduces young readers to the idea of mindfulness, "the practice of being aware in the present moment," as the authors explain in the notes at the end. Young readers are not overwhelmed with concepts or definitions (the author's notes are designed for the adult readers). Instead, they tag along with Izzy as she finds a way to let her burdensome thoughts go. This is an important book. --Emilie Coulter, freelance writer and editor