cover image Being a Dog: A Tail of Mindfulness

Being a Dog: A Tail of Mindfulness

Maria Gianferrari, illus. by Pete Oswald. HarperCollins, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-306791-2

Across the seasons and from wake-up to bedtime, a squat brown dog models a Zen mindset in this canine-centric call to just “be.” Emphasizing sensory experiences, declarative, action-oriented phrases prompt: “Breathe deep./ Sniff,/ sniff,/ sniffing.../ everything.” Other suggestions address the emotional (“Bark if you’re worried”), encouraging readers to acknowledge their feelings and then to let them pass. Oswald’s digital illustrations feature scanned watercolor textures and paper cutouts for an animated, three-dimensional effect. Playful scenes show the pup and its apparent owner, a child portrayed with pink skin and dark hair, jumping in a puddle, frolicking in a pile of autumn leaves, making snow angels, and beyond, keep the mood light to align with Gianferrari’s mildly humorous text. Back matter includes suggestions for taking a nature walk during different seasons, facts about the way dogs’ and humans’ senses vary, and a breathing exercise. Ages 4–8. (Apr.)