King Calm: Mindful Gorilla in the City
“Marvin wasn’t like other gorillas.” While other gorillas stomp their feet and pound their chests, Marvin is busy noticing things. This doesn’t sit well with his grandfather, who is of the “thump thump roar” school of thought. “When I was your age, we were wild and ferocious!” So Marvin decides to take Grandpa on a tour through the city to show him what it means to be calm. Marvin instructs him to eat slowly, enjoying his food’s color and texture. Marvin persuades him to look carefully, noticing color and shadows. Marvin focuses his attention on textures, smells, and sounds. Grandpa doesn’t exactly understand the point of these lessons, but he dutifully goes along. At the end of the week, the pair finally visit a tall building, perfect for climbing. After the elevator opens on a panoramic view, all the lessons come together for Grandpa, “and the thump thump roar inside him felt smaller and smaller.”
King Calm is a wonderful gateway for teaching mindfulness to children. The narrative manages to give explicit instructions on being mindful without being pedantic or dull. The authors have also included a detailed reader’s note for those who want to incorporate the book’s lessons into their own daily life.
Susan D. Sweet • Brenda S. Miles