Tina Athaide

Meenas Mindful Moment

By Tina Athaide
Illustrated by Åsa Gilland
Page Street Kids
ISBN: 978-1645672869

With playful art and engaging characters (real and imagined), this charming story all about mindfulness will be wonderfully relatable to anyone with a rambunctious hurly-burly hullabaloo of their own.

Meena is excited to visit Dada and explore all the exciting sights and sensations of his home with him. But Meena has so much energy, it becomes a whole imaginary character she calls her hurly-burly hullabaloo. Wherever Meena goes, her hurly-burly hullabaloo goes too. Together they’re never calm, as they run and cartwheel and make a lot of noise!

But when Meena makes a mess, her grandfather is there to teach her how to handle it with deep breaths and meditative poses―after all, he has a hurly-burly hullabaloo too.

Activity Guide to support SEL standards

“The idea for this story started with my students.  I wanted a character that reflected some of their own experiences in a way that would make my students feel okay about themselves. ”

Read more about Meena’s Mindful Moment’s book journey on Kathy Temean’s blog, Writing and Illustrating.

As Meena connects with calm, she meets a sense of her own agency. She learns how to use her attention and breath to relate with her Hullabaloo energy. She remembers she can guide her body, feet, and mind. Do you or your students enjoy any mindful yoga practices in particular?

Read the answer to this question and more at my interview with KidLit in Color.

“Meena’s grandfather is based on my own grandfather. When I was six, my family visited Goa, India. In the afternoons, my grandfather would take me for a walk through the village and we’d visit some of the same places that Meena goes with her grandfather. If I’m quite honest, I think I brought my own imaginary hurly-burly hullabaloo on those walks and Grandpa patiently welcomed it on our adventures. I loved writing this story and capturing those memories I shared with Grandpa.

Read the inspiration behind Meena’s Mindful Moment on Andrew Hacket’s Backstory blog.

“Meena gets overexcited in situations. The child knows she needs to find a little serenity, but she hasn’t learned how to self-regulate. Showing patient acknowledgement, acceptance, and understanding, Dada confesses he also has a hurly-burly hullabaloo that needs reminding “to sit … to breathe … and to be still.”
This playful, positive meditation doesn’t seek to quash Meena’s “jingle-jangle” get-up-and-go vivacity, only to slow it down when needed – a reassuring message that is a breath of fresh air.

Read the full review at the Quill and Quire