James Vollbracht is the author of several children’s books, as well as Stopping at Every Lemonade Stand: How to Create a Culture that Cares for Kids. With a BA and MA in education, he has been the director of several training initiatives to improve the lives of youth. He lives in Tucson, Arizona.
“Quietly compelling storytelling with vivid watercolor portraits of village life.”—Publishers Weekly
In a village high above the clouds, where nobody’s happy and nothing grows, a little girl dreams of a garden flourishing behind her father’s house. Every day the cynical villagers watch and mock the little girl. But, watered with her kindness and patience, the garden eventually yields the most important fruit: the restored hope and happiness of the entire village. Perhaps the greatest gift you can ever give another is to hold them in the highest regard and to see what is best and unique about them. In Mishan’s Garden, a little girl sees all that is good and beautiful in the hearts of everyone around her and thereby transforms the lives of her entire village.
- 32 pages, 8.25 x 10.25 inches
- ISBN 9781614291121
- 32 pages
- ISBN 9781614291343
A Peaceful Piggy’s Guide to Sickness and Death, Sadness and Love
When someone we love gets sick, we little piggies worry! It can feel scary when a person we care about is sick or in a hospital. Luckily, there is one good thing we peaceful piggies can do: meditate.
This is a story about love.
Experiencing a loved one’s illness or death is challenging for both children and their grownups. With three distinct sections to choose from—when someone we love is sick, dying, or has died—this guide will help you easily find soothing and practical mindfulness activities focused on what your young one needs in order to guide them through their big emotions and questions. These practices will help calm and empower children—and their grownups—as they discover they can still be with their loved ones through their heart connection, no matter where they are.
“A gorgeous, colorful picture book…this read is equally light and profound.”
—Bonnie Nadzam, Lion’s Roar
“It’s true that we are all different squashes . . . some are bigger and some are smaller . . . some are rounder and some are longer. But even if we are different, we are all connected. We are all growing together. We don’t have to be such squabbling squashes.”
Squabbling Squashes is a story for children of all ages about interconnection and learning to live in harmony amid differences, from a leading light of contemporary Zen—based on a parable from Kosho Uchiyama’s classic bestseller Opening the Hand of Thought.
“An essential teaching for all children, told with delightful, relatable warmth.”
—Sumi Loundon Kim, author Sitting Together: A Family-Centered Curriculum on Mindfulness, Meditation, and Buddhist Teachings
“Super enjoyable to hear, read, and savor for people of all ages, Squabbling Squashes helps our future generations to be aware of a universal mutual tie in society and nature.”
—Kazuaki Tanahashi, author of Painting Peace: Art in a Time of Global Crisis
“An ancient tale cultivating mindfulness today.”
—Lauen Alderfer, author of Mindful Monkey, Happy Panda
Thank You, Percival
What happens if you don’t take the time to train your new puppy?
Things can go very badly!
What happens if you don’t take the time to train your own mind?
Things can go even worse!
This is the story of Percival the puppy and his housetraining. Learn alongside Percival how to juggle your emotions and distractions and find inner peace.
I See You, Buddha
An instant classic, this book will help children (and their parents) learn patience and to see the good in everyone—including themselves! It will also help children meet difficult circumstances, such as being sick, doing chores, and not getting everything they want—and help them overcome low self-esteem and negative self-talk.
I See You, Buddha is based on a chapter in the Lotus Sutra, one of the most influential Buddhist texts worldwide—a classical scripture that has inspired a whole genre of works, especially in Japan, known as Lotus Literature. The Lotus Sutra teaches the way of the bodhisattva—a being engaged in compassionate, enlightened activity in the service of all—by offering examples of what this activity might look like in the world. One such model in the text is Bodhisattva Never Disrespectful (or Never Disparaging), who, despite troubling encounters with and even harsh treatment from others, bows down respectfully to everyone, recognizing their Buddha nature and honoring their own journeys along the bodhisattva path to enlightenment—whether they know they’re future buddhas or not!
Listen to author Josh Bartok as he reads I See You, Buddha in this video reading.
Peaceful Piggy Bedtime
“It’s time to go to sleep, but some friends are sleepy, and some are not. Some are already nodding off, and some want to bounce around. Now it’s time to go from busy to peaceful. These mindful bedtime exercises will help us have a good night’s sleep.”
Bedtime can be a joy; a quiet time, a nice cuddle—a sleepy angel. Bedtime can also be a challenge; riled energy, hidden anxieties—a restless little monster! This book draws on modern science and time-tested wisdom to provide children with an effective bedtime ritual to relax the body, settle the mind, and drift into a peaceful sleep. Parents may find they sleep better, too!
The Banyan Deer
An Elephant Journal “Best Reads of 2010” selection.
This inspiring tale reminds us that no one can be truly at peace unless all beings have a chance for peace, freedom, and happiness. The Banyan Deer is a wonderful, heart-warming gift for anyone who loves a great story. This beautiful hardcover edition will delight both adults and children alike.
Tara’s Coloring Book
Whether you color for relaxation, stress relief, or part of your devotional practice, enjoy exquisite line drawings of the most important figures in the Tibetan Buddhist pantheon—Shakyamuni Buddha, Chenrezig, Tara, Manjushri, and more—by contemporary masters of the ancient art of Tibetan Buddhist religious painting.
Visualizing buddhas and teachers in specific detail is a traditional part of meditation. Therefore, the monks who created the beautiful, rich images that meditators would use in their practice would have to study for years to learn the precise techniques, geometry, and coloration required, handed down to them by old masters. Now, these images are available for you to color—whether for formal meditation or stress relief or just to appreciate their beauty.
Ziji and the Very Scary Man
Ziji is a bouncy puppy who lives with the Anderson family: Mom, Dad, Jenny, and Baby Jack. He loves to play and chase balls in the park with Jenny and their friend Nico. Then one day, an angry man shouts at Ziji and scares him so much he never wants to go back to the park again. Can Nico show him how to calm his mind and face his fears?
Renowned meditation master Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche shows young children how following our breath can calm us down—and how practicing compassion shows us that even Very Scary Men can be frightened sometimes too.
A detailed appendix gives further guidance for parents.
See, Hear, Feel
So many books aim to present mindfulness in a way suitable for little kids; this one actually does it. There’s no jargon or tough concepts—just natural-language exploration of the senses and surroundings and breath, just simple, heartfelt wishes for the wellbeing of others. Creative and thoughtful mindfulness exercises will help teachers and parents gently and naturally guide children and will invite families to connect and be fully present with each other.
The Day the Buddha Woke Up
The Day the Buddha Woke Up is a board book that will captivate children of all ages. It’s the perfect way to introduce young children to the story of the Buddha—the clear, gracefully written story puts the Buddha’s awakening into language children can understand.
The simple arc of the Buddha’s questions, his quest, and his ultimate understanding will provide a meaningful and peaceful story that children—and their parents!—will love returning to again and again.
Flow, Flow, Flow
Enjoy things with pleasure and do let them go,
And grow into life—let it flow, flow, flow, flow.
Four children set off on a magical voyage of imagination. Along the way, to no destination in particular, they meet walrus ice cream vendors, lemurs and tigers living in harmony, helpful octopi and more. As the scenery changes, our travelers learn to go with the flow, welcoming each new experience for what it is in the moment, and accepting when those experiences drift away, to be replaced with a whole new adventure.
Children (and adults) will get lost in the detailed and whimsical illustrations, discovering something new each time they read this book. As the characters experience constantly changing settings, readers will begin to better understand the impermanence of life, and how wondrous it can be.
Ziji is a noisy, bouncy puppy who lives with the Anderson family: Mom, Dad, Jenny, and Baby Jack. He loves to bark and play and—most of all—chase pigeons in the park. Then one day, Ziji sees a new boy from Jenny’s school, Nico, sitting in the park. What is Nico doing? Why does he look so calm and happy? Ziji can’t wait to find out.
This book, written by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, one of the new generation of Tibetan Buddhist masters, will teach your child the basics of meditation in a fun and engaging way. Included after the story is a guide for parents and teachers with more information on what meditation is and how it can be helpful as well as suggestions on how children can continue to practice meditation on their own.
No Ordinary Apple
On an otherwise ordinary day, Elliot discovers something extraordinary: the power of mindfulness. When he asks his neighbor Carmen for a snack, he’s at first disappointed when she hands him an apple—he wanted candy! But when encouraged to carefully and attentively look, feel, smell, taste, and even listen to the apple, Elliot discovers that this apple is not ordinary at all.
Lushly and humorously illustrated, No Ordinary Apple makes a traditional technique for training mindfulness a fun and enjoyable way for children to learn to slow down and appreciate even the simplest things.
Prince Siddhartha Coloring Book
A wonderful companion to our Prince Siddhartha story book, this children’s coloring book Includes 31 full-size and 31 miniature line drawings with narrative descriptions.
This is the story of Prince Siddhartha and how he became Buddha, the Awakened One. Lyrical verse and beautiful full-color illustrations depict each major life event in Siddhartha’s development. His message of nonviolence, loving-kindness, and unselfishness is vitally necessary for today’s—and tomorrow’s—children. A story made for the telling—open this tale to a child and shore up the possibility of a bright and loving future!
Tara’s Colouring Book
Exquisite line drawings of the most important figures in the Tibetan Buddhist pantheon: Shakyamuni Buddha, Chenrezig, Tara, Manjushri, and more. The artists provide detailed explanations of the figures as well as traditional coloring instructions. A great gift for meditators, fans of Himalayan art, or anyone who appreciates beauty. For all ages.
Happiness Doesn’t Come from Headstands
Leela loves to do yoga. She could do all sorts of poses, but there was one pose she couldn’t do. Every time Leela tried to do a headstand…KERPLUNK!
This book explores the themes of acceptance, resilience, and self-compassion and offers the message that just because we may experience a failure does not mean that we are a failure. Written as a counterpoint to the message of The Little Engine that Could, Happiness Doesn’t Come from Headstands is a story about a girl who tries her best, but still falls down. Through the process she learns that happiness is not determined by external achievement. Through accepting our limitations and celebrating our efforts, even in the face of failure, peace can be found.
This three-volume set provides a complete curriculum for adults and children to learn about mindfulness, meditation, and Buddhist teachings together, either in the home, in partnership with other families, or with a local center.
The Adult Study Guide (280 pages) offers thirty-six lesson plans including meditation practices, homework, readings, and reflection questions for group study.
The Children’s Lesson Plans (296 pages), used in conjunction with the Adult Study Guide, provides step-by-step instructions for teachers on meditation exercises, stories, crafts, songs, and games.
The Activity Book (136 pages) is a perfect companion to enhance the children’s education with over 50 coloring pages, puzzles, and other fun activities.
This comprehensive curriculum for adults and children ages 3–12 has five units on meditation, kindness, ethics, character, and service. It is perfect for any family, Dharma center, yoga studio, or religious, educational, or community organization that wants to incorporate a mindfulness program for children and their families.