Taking Time encourages the reader to take the time for a moment of reflection and mindfulness.
Rather than a narrative, Lantana has published a poem both written and gorgeously illustrated by Jo Loring-Fisher. On the other hand, perhaps they’ve published a guilt-free opportunity for the reader to experience a moment. A moment of stillness and thought.
Every double-page spread shows a child from a different culture appreciating something very ordinary to their location. For example, blossom in Japan. Sharing each page is one line from the poem starting with the words, “Taking time to…” followed by what each child is experiencing. The final line and image brings it all together in a moment of satisfying completeness.
An aspect of mindfulness is to be aware of your senses. Poetry, therefore, is ideal for this and the book tantalises each one. The colouring, shading, lighting help too, and show how special each item is in the eyes of the children. In addition, they show how extraordinary they are to others. As a result, this helps us think of all the things in our lives we take for granted, and how special they could seem to someone else. In this way, Loring-Fisher has created a truly universal book.
The school day is crammed, and this book offers the moment of personal contemplation that we can all do with. Teachers will find Taking Time rich with discussion ideas for wellbeing, and an opportunity to enjoy their everyday miracle: taking time to wonder in the world with their class. This book could be shared as a stand alone read or it could form part of a wellbeing collection, alongside titles such as Star’s Before Bedtime and Kaya’s Heart Song.
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