Book Title: Taking Time (available here)
Author: Jo Loring - Fisher
Publication Date: September 2020
Most Suitable For: KS1
Reviewed By: Christine Whitney
What a beautifully illustrated picture book full of encouragement to live in the moment and engage with nature and the world around us.
“Taking time to listen. Taking time to feel. Taking time to cherish you, and also cherish me.” These lines from the book catch the theme within in the form of a poem with a repetitive opener on each double-page spread. The repetition of the 'Taking time to...' line slows down the pace of reading and makes the reader pause and take in the details in the illustration before them. It is a gentle reminder to stop and appreciate our world.
Mindfulness techniques are practised in many schools today to help children reduce anxiety and manage stress. These techniques encourage children and adults to live in the moment and to notice what their senses are appreciating. Here on the pages of this book, as we are taken around the world, we are encouraged to wonder at nature, at creation, at the sights and sounds on our planet and to pause for a moment to focus on our surroundings.
Children will love exploring the map at the front of the book. As they read each page, they are encouraged to find the specific objects on it and locate where each page was set. They will search for clues and find themselves in Russia, in Nepal, in Ecuador among others. The reader meets children from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds as he or she journeys through the world 'Taking time to gather up the blossom dancing free' or 'Taking time to imagine the deep sounds of the sea'. These lines are accompanied by dream-like illustrations painted in earthy tones giving the reader a sense of calm, of being in nature.
This is a book for reading and savouring with young children. It is also a book designed to remind one and all of the healing power of creation and the necessity to take time.
Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to Review Panel member Christine for reviewing it.
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