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Written by Felicia M. Tomasko, RN   

Ahn's Anger Gail Silver Illustrated by Christine Krömer
Plum Blossom Books, Parallax Press
 

Anh's Anger
Anh's Anger
What does it mean to sit with anger and how can we teach a child to engage in this practice? This is the aim of Gail Silver’s new book Ahn’s Anger. Silver is the founder of Yoga Child in Philadelphia and develops curricula on mindfulness and Yoga for schools and school-aged children. This simple yet deeply profound book demonstrates her mastery in explaining these concepts to children and elucidating the mindfulness teachings of Thich Nhat Hahn.

The combination of Silver’s engaging narrative and Krömer’s colorful collages provides a storytelling feast. This book guides the reader through the process of how to sit with and face one’s anger and emotions and then develop the ability to transform the experience. We follow Ahn, the story’s young namesake, who becomes angry after his grandfather asks him to come to dinner while still playing. Although initially confused by his grandfather’s instruction to go to his room and sit with his anger, Ahn gets the opportunity to physically meet his anger, personified by a whimsical red monster, artfully portrayed by Krömer.

What ensues is a valuable lesson for both adults and children in a story that takes the reader step by step through a process of mindfulness practice modeled by Ahn.

Ahn’s Anger is suitable for children to read alone, a tangible and age-appropriate guide to the practice that can serve as a frequent companion when conflict arises. It can also be read jointly by families as a teaching and discussion tool, with the appearance, shrinking and disappearance of the monster serving as a representation of the process of facing, addressing and transforming our relationship with anger. And it is not to be underestimated as a book suitable for adults; it artfully shifted my state of mind.

For more on Ahn’s Anger or Thich Nhat Hahn’s September 19 visit to Los Angeles, visit: parallexpress.org. For more on Gail Silver and Yoga Child, visit: yogachild.net. –– Felicia M. Tomasko, RN

 


 

That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals
Ruby Roth

Thats Why We Dont Eat Animals
Thats Why We Dont Eat Animals
Ruby Roth’s That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals is an elegantly written, beautifully illustrated children’s book about the rationale for vegetarianism. With a theme of peace and compassion for all living beings, Roth gives simple explanations that may serve as persuasive tools for families with children interested in veganism and vegetarianism.

Roth’s premise is that both humans and animals are Earthlings, neither inherently superior to the other. “Every living being shares the will to live and grow,” she writes. She uses heartfelt, emotionally resonant language and art design to contrast the life lived by animals in the wild with the existence of animals in the factory farming system. She shows us wild turkeys roosting in treetops and wild pigs snuggling together for love, while their factory-bred counterparts live in horrific conditions of fear and deprivation. Like Fast Food Nation, Roth’s book brings the horrors of factory farms front and center, and confronts us with the untenable consequences they present. Roth also highlights the broader impact of factory farms to the diminution of the Earth’s natural resources, such as deforestation and over-fishing.

This is a children’s book with large ambitions. Like the environmentalist bestseller Silent Spring, it has raised controversy even before its release date. Some claim this book brainwashes children. More warranted is the criticism that Roth never delves into the idea that humans were eating meat long before factory farming existed. She also never explores sustainable meat eating practices. And many parents will question the prudence of saddling a seven-year-old with the overwhelming horror of the global factory farming system. Still, if the coming generations are going to strive for a more sustainable approach to filling their dining room tables, Why We Don’t Eat Animals should certainly be in their bookcases. –– Reviewed by Aria Mayland, yogawitharia.com

 

 

 
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