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Take a Breath by Sujean Rim

Title: Take a Breath

A white cover with a red bird under black text. The text reads Take a Breath by Sujean Rim

Author: Sujean Rim

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: Allen and Unwin

Published:  3rd of May 2022

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 40

Price: $24.99

Synopsis: An anxious baby bird who fears he’ll never learn to fly gets a lesson in mindfulness in this funny and sweetly encouraging picture book about believing in yourself.

Every morning, the birds are flapping with excitement for their first flight of the day…except for Bob. Bob doesn’t get the whole flying thing; when the other baby birds go up, up, up, he goes down, down, down. Bob can’t help worrying…what if he never learns how to fly?

His friend Crow tells him, ‘All you need to do is breathe, Bob.’ Of course, Bob breathes all the time, but there’s breathing and then there’s B-R-E-A-T-H-I-N-G. And it might just be the thing to calm Bob’s ruffled feathers.

~*~

Bob is worried he will never learn to fly. He watches all the other baby birds take off, and learn, but he’s stuck on the ground and in the tree, trying his best to learn. One day, Crow appears and asks what is wrong, and Bob tells him. Crow teaches him about breathing through his anxiety and relaxing – trying to keep calm in the face of adversity. So can Crow help Bob calm down?

Take a Breath is another one of those gentle stories that reminds readers of all ages – kids and adults – that anxiety is real, and that we all feel it. It is about B-R-E-A-T-H-I-N-G and focus in a world where our attention spans are constantly torn and pulled in different directions, and where we often feel like everything is falling apart, as though we have no control over anything in our lives. It’s also a reminder that we should be true to ourselves, and that nobody else’s opinions matter – that who we are is important, not what other people think of us. The simple narrative and illustrations are just as evocative as anything intricate in other picture books.

The power of the simple narrative and images shows us that the small things are often the things that matter – sometimes in a good way, sometimes in a bad way, and it is up to us to ask for help and find ways to cope with these things and find ways to work with them to achieve our goals. It’s a delightfully calming book that I think will be a great one to read to help children understand or deal with anxiety, or help deal with your own anxiety. It’s one of those picture books that for me has no age limit – that we can all enjoy and get something out of, and I think everything in it comes together nicely to give a well-rounded story and one that many people can relate to.

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