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I don’t know what bedtime looks like in your house, but in my house it can be a struggle, particularly with my 3 year old daughter who doesn’t nap, and yet somehow isn’t ready for bed either. This girl’s energy output is seriously off the charts.
It’s like she’s allergic to sleeping. Which this could-sleep-anytime-anywhere mama does not understand.
My mother-in-law has shared that my husband’s energy level was on par with our daughter’s, but unlucky for me, while my husband “really needed his sleep”, our daughter does not. Awesome.
So I was thrilled when I was sent a complimentary copy of a new bedtime book that my mama-self and therapist-self immediately fell in love with, and I am happy to highly recommend to you guys.
Meet: Thank You Body, Thank You Heart written by Jennifer Cohen Harper and illustrated by Karen Gilmour.
This book is part gratitude list, part bedtime meditation and grounding, written and illustrated specifically for children!
Jennifer is a mom to two littles, a leader in the world of yoga and mindfulness, and a founder of Little Flower Yoga which provides programs and resources for schools, students, and parents to help youth “embrace their full potential and live their lives with joy.”
In Thank You Body, Thank You Heart, Jennifer expresses gratitude for many parts of the body, as well as acknowledges what they do, and how rest will aid them in recovery. Accompanying Jennifer’s simple yet poignant words are Karen’s beautifully crafted images that elicit feelings of joy and serenity.
“I’m grateful for a mind that knows,
I’m special from my head to toes.
And that all of me deserves to rest,
so all of me can do my best”
Similar to progressive muscle relaxation (which I often use in therapy), the story guides the reader to relax and rest body part by body part.
You better believe we will begin using it as a regular in the bedtime story roundup!
I am hoping that reading this story nightly will do three things:
1) Help my children (but especially my daughter) gain an understanding of how resting at night is important for their bodies that have done so much for them during the day
2) Support my children in developing an attitude of gratitude and appreciation
3) Encourage body positivity with a focus on gratefulness for our bodies’ capabilities, instead of valuing our bodies by their appearance
I will update this post after we’ve been reading the book for a few weeks to share what the kids think and how helpful it’s been!
Thank You Body, Thank You Heart became available for purchase on October 22, 2019! You can find it here!
And don’t just take my word for it! Here are some of the books reviews:
With a steady cadence and easy to remember rhymes, Jennifer Cohen Harper crafted a lovely bedtime ritual and placed it between the covers of her new children’s book. It’ll only take a couple of times reading this book together before children will be able to run through it on their own, even when their parents are away or already tucked into bed themselves.
— Susan Kaiser Greenland, author of Mindful Games and The Mindful Child, founder of Inner Kids
This is a little book that serves a big purpose (or two or three). It will give you a meaningful bedtime ritual to share with your children. It will help your kids relax from head to toe. And it will do something that very few of us know how to do: teach our children that their bodies are not just objects to make look a certain way, but instead are miracles to be grateful for, to take care of, and to love.
— Elizabeth Lesser, New York Times bestselling author and cofounder of the Omega Institute
This beautiful gratitude book should be on everyone’s self. What a wonderful addition to a nighttime routine as a calming body scan cultivating gratitude for all that our bodies do for us. The emphasis on our insides vs. what we look like on the outside helps kids see how amazing they truly are while helping them to slow down and rest. There is no age limit to this book! This “meditation” can be helpful for all ages and remind us to love ourselves on a deeper level.
— Susan Verde, author of #1 New York bestselling book, I Am Love
Check out the book for yourself and let me know your thoughts!!
Read my other children’s book reviews!
Christina is the writer behind the blog Real Life Mama. She is a mom two littles, a 4-year-old daughter and a 3-year-old son. Christina and her family live in San Diego, where she is a full-time mama, part-time mental health therapist (LPCC), and round-the-clock blogger, writer, and author. If she ever gets a moment to herself, she can be found singing at the top of her lungs, cooking, and crafting. Thanks for reading!