The Magical Mindful Day Book Review
By Carla Vegnad for Working Mommy Journal
The Magical Mindful Day, combines mindfulness and heart-based practices to teach children the importance of a society based on the principles of love, respect, kindness, and compassion.
About The Magical Mindful Day
Arriving in the United States at age 24 from El Salvador, author Deborah Salazar Shapiro learned at a young age to appreciate life. At only five years old, Salazar Shapiro’s family decided to seek refuge in Mexico, after a bomb detonated next to her childhood home in El Salvador.
“The stress of exile life and the long-lasting effects of living in an environment of chaos and war took its toll,” says Salazar Shapiro. Within a few years, she was left with a fractured family, with only her, the youngest of four, and her mother returning to their homeland. At the young age of eight, Salazar Shapiro knew she wanted to dedicate her life to easing the pain and suffering of others, later choosing psychotherapy as her future course of study.
These experiences have culminated in the production of her new book, The Magical Mindful Day, in which Salazar Shapiro combines mindfulness and heart-based practices to teach children the importance of a society based on the principles of love, respect, kindness, and compassion.
A dedicated practitioner of mindful meditation for almost a decade and a teacher for several years, Salazar Shapiro explains, “From the beginning of my career, I have enjoyed working with children. I rejoice in their curious nature and pure hearts. I believe if children are taught mindfulness, loving-friendliness and compassion at a young age, they can be our hope for a society based on the same.”
This book geared towards young children has two very powerful messages that are important for individuals of all ages to recognize and pay attention to: protecting and playing our role in taking care of our Earth and mindfulness.
In this book we meet Gaby a young girl with a kind heart who is spending the day at the beach when she plastic rings wash up on shore. She then meets Oreo, the talking cat, who strikes up a conversation with her about our Earth, our home and being open and mindful in every one of our actions. Together they go on a journey together to explore how to take care of our home, how to be kind and loving to everyone and how to use specific techniques to help us being mindful. I loved how she showed how we are all connected (animals, humans and nature) and we can show our gratitude and love through small actions. Oreo helps guide her on this journey and I love the ending when Oreo reminds her that she can always find him in her heart.
Mindfulness is a technique that many individuals are taught to help them calm their mind and escape from the racing day-to-day journey we are on. Some use it to help control anxiety, others to unwind after a busy day and others to reconnect with their surroundings and loved ones. It helps us to focus on how we are feeling, what is going on around us and being more in touch with ourselves and others. It is an extremely powerful tool, that I am quite happy to say my children have had it introduced to them at school so that when we read the book together my youngest would say I know how to do that. If you are not familiar with the techniques, she shares some throughout the story but there is also a note at the end to parents and teachers to help guide them as they teach themselves and in turn their children.
This is a beautiful children’s book with a very powerful message that is important for children of all ages, not to mention a great reminder for adults! Life can be so busy that we get out of tune with others and ourselves and forget about the importance of caring for ourselves, others and nature. This was a great read with beautiful illustrations – an excellent addition to your child’s home library!
You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.
About the Author
Deborah Salazar Shapiro, MSW, is a psychotherapist, mindfulness teacher, author, and artist who was born and raised in San Salvador, El Salvador. She has been working with children and families for over 15 years. Deborah holds an MSW from the University of Southern California and a master’s-level degree in psychology from the University Dr. Jose Matias Delgado in San Salvador. She lives in San Diego, California with her husband, two daughters, and a wise cat named Thay.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.