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Breathing Makes It Better: A Book for Sad Days, Mad Days, Glad Days, and All the Feelings In-Between
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Breathing Makes It Better: A Book for Sad Days, Mad Days, Glad Days, and All the Feelings In-Between

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  89 ratings  ·  20 reviews
An engaging and interactive story showing children ages 3-6 the power of breath when dealing with new and difficult emotions.

Read aloud and breathe along with this sweet story teaching children how to navigate powerful emotions like anger, fear, sadness, confusion, anxiety, and loneliness. With rhythmic writing and engaging illustrations, Breathing Makes It Better guides c
Hardcover, 36 pages
Published September 3rd 2019 by Bala Kids Hc
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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 ·  89 ratings  ·  20 reviews

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La Coccinelle
This book teaches young children to focus on their breathing when they're feeling strong emotions. It's a nice introduction to mindfulness, with cute illustrations and catchy rhymes to repeat when you're feeling sad, angry, scared, or alone. There are also some simple breathing exercises at the back of the book that are perfect for kids (or for anyone who needs to take a moment and just breathe).

One thing that bothers me, though, is that this is yet another picture book where the illustrator isn
Jennifer Fischer
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Breathing Makes it Better is a picture book that describes how breathing can help children experience and overcome a variety of emotions. This book begins with an illustration of six different children with a variety of emotions visible on their faces. The text normalizes experiencing emotions by stating that everybody alive experiences different feelings and emotions at different times. Each child from the illustration then has four pages devoted to their feelings and emotions. The first page i ...more
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a book that will help a child feel better on their sad days, mad days, glad days and all the feelings in-between. It is a book for adults to read and take a breath. Illustrations are great.
[non-credited] illustrator is Alea Marley

used for Yoga Club 5/4/21
Sep 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
BREATHING MAKES IT BETTER by Christopher Willard and Wendy O’Leary captures the emotional range of a child and how the act of breathing in and out can help calm their moods. I have read a lot of books like this for my own kids, for Girl Scouts, and just in general. The most important part of this book, in my opinion, is the idea of a mantra that a child can repeat to themselves when they get upset to help center them back, along with the actual breathing exercises. Our kids are in a tough spot i ...more
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was ok
The sentiment is good, and I'm glad there is a diverse cast of characters BUT. The emotions that are solved by breathing break down in the images like so:
White girl: Sad
White boy: Anxious
Black boy: Lonely
Black boy: Angry
Black girl: Stupid
White girl: Scared

See the issue? Now it's not as terrible to show the black boy angry, because there is at least another option. But the only girl of color in the whole book is, looking at the picture, having trouble with her math homework. The text doesn't say
Jennie Chantal
Jul 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: kids
I liked this book. The illustrations captured the children’s emotions well and the nature scenes were lovely. I appreciated how a relationship with nature was shown as part of dealing with uncomfortable feelings. The breathing exercises and guided questions at the end were really practical.

I was shocked to see that the illustrator/artist Alea Marley is not credited on the front of the book nor is her bio included on the back with the authors bio’s. This is inexcusable. It’s worth adding that Ma
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: I received a copy as an ARC via NetGalley

This book is well conceived in combining the idea of an illustrated children's book and meditative practices. I think it is both adorable and helpful with accessible stress management tools for kids of all ages. I liked that different scenarios where kids might be overwhelmed by their feelings are illustrated and how to deal with them. A great way for kids to feel validated and learn better strategies for dealing with big emotions. It could be
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was a little bit above the attention and comprehension levels of my 4 year old, but would probably be nice for children a couple of years older. The illustrations are adorable, and it was calming for me. It focuses on children and their feelings and how breathing can help then work through those feelings in a practical way. The helpful mindful breathing tips at the end of the book were especially helpful.
Useful to start discussions about our strongest emotions and how we can deal with them in healthy ways, especially with the guided practices and tips in the backmatter. As someone who pays attention to illustrators, it is weird and unacceptable to me that Alea Marley isn't credited on the cover--and while I read a digital copy, another reviewer wrote that she doesn't have a bio on the backflap either. ...more
Kelly Knapp
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Children, parents and teachers
Recommended to Kelly by: Won as part of the Goodread First reads giveaway
This is a cute picture book, with vivid illustrations and short prose and poetry, alternating and the poetry rhymes.

The subject is the universal human emotions, which aren't always comfortable. Because feelings are universal, the illustrator uses multicultural drawings.

Discussion ideas are included.
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A very calming, helpful book on how taking a breath open us up to making a bad moment better. Breathing is awesome in good moments too. We tend to hold it when scared or tense though. A very positive message "When you breathe you are alive...and because you are alive, anything is possible."Connecting with nature definitely helps too. ...more
Mar 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have this book propped on my dresser near my bed, so I can enjoy the cover illustration and have regular reminders to stop and take a breath just from walking through my room. Sitting down to page through and read is even better. I highly recommend this book for every age.
Jan 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
I would have given this 3 stars, but I bumped it up a star because I think books about breathing and mindfulness for kids are important and helpful. The ideas are helpful for adults as well. Doesn’t fix all the problems, but helps us be more resilient.
Dec 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways, reviews
Easy to understand book written for younger children for breathing better and relaxing while dealing with emotions. Has exercises included at the end if you would like to try a few with your child. Nicely illustrated and soothing. I won this book in a goodreads giveaway thank you.
I saw this book online and bought it to read aloud to my undergraduate students during our shelter-in-place online teaching time this semester.
Feb 25, 2020 rated it liked it
It's fine. Nice illustrations. A little less useful than I was looking for. ...more
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was ok
Great bonus material, but the text itself seemed cliche.
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"when i'm alone, be still.... be here.
i stand like a tree, in the woods tall and free.
breathe in, breathe out-peace is near."
Arpita (world of a book enthusiast)
This is a super helpful book for my 4-year-old. The language is so easy to understand for a child. I really like the way it is written and it begins as since we all are alive, we have feelings and emotions. The author has tried to explain to kids that we all sometimes feel happy, silly, joyful and calm and sometimes we feel sad, angry, scared and alone. The later ones can make us really uncomfortable. If we watch and really notice feelings come and go just like our breathing.

This book illustrate
Hannah Jane
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CHRISTOPHER WILLARD, PSYD, is a clinical psychologist and consultant specializing in bringing mindfulness into education and psychotherapy. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, teaches at Harvard Medical School, and leads workshops worldwide. For more, visit

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