To an infant child, the world is full of unbelievable marvels. Every new discovery is cause for celebration and intense scrutiny. They inherently know how to appreciate the most minuscule details of life because for them, these are the ones that count the most.
Robert Vescio’s latest picture book, Ella Saw The Tree invites young readers to pause for thought and cherish the finer details of life, ones they are often forced to abandon or forget about as they deal with the daily need to ‘grow up’.
Today, we welcome Robert back to the draft table to discuss how his book about mindfulness can help us all slow down whilst catching up with the things that really matter.
Today, children are bombarded with so many distractions in life i.e. television and video games that they can lose focus on what is really important. I wrote Ella Saw The Tree to encourage children to slow down and appreciate their surroundings. With this book, I’m hoping children will be open to explore as they learn about their world.
Ella Saw The Tree is an entertaining story about mindfulness and living in the moment. It teaches a simple but important lesson. By taking a moment to slow down and really appreciate your surroundings even the simple things can be surprising and fun.
One windy day, as Ella is swinging, she is showered by leaves. When she looks up, Ella sees a tree in her backyard … has it always been there? And why is it crying? It’s not until Ella carefully and attentively takes the time to – smell, listen, feel and look – that she discovers the tree in her backyard, as if for the very first time. By slowing down and experiencing new sensations, Ella learns to appreciate the simple things in life.
We often tell our children to ‘pay attention’ but we don’t often teach children HOW to pay attention. This story does that in a fun way. By taking information from all their senses, children are able to explore as they learn about their world. This is what mindfulness is about, ‘sensing’ what’s happening not thinking. It helps them notice their feelings before making a decision – a way of caring for yourself. Mindfulness can increase happiness in a child’s life.
For example, a child walking through the bush is able to explore all the wonders around them i.e. trees and leaves etc. Everything is a new experience, full of discovery, fresh with a beginner’s mind.
Mindfulness is about training yourself to pay attention in a specific way. We spend so much time thinking over stuff that happens, or worrying about things that might happen in the future, that often we forget to appreciate or enjoy the moment. Mindfulness is a way of bringing us back to experience life as it happens.
Mindfulness can help treat people with anxiety and depression. When a person is mindful they are focused on the present moment, not worrying about anything that went on in the past or that might be coming up in the future, concentrating on what’s happening around them and to them and not being judgemental about anything they notice.
When you’re mindful it gives you a clear head, slows down your nervous system, lets you relax and helps you cope with stress.
Ella Saw The Tree will delight all readers. Teachers and parents alike can use this story as a starting point for discussing the concept of engaging all senses and being mindful of the little things in life.
For children, reading this book will open new perspectives on the world and being present in the moment. This is a great book to be shared with children of all ages.
Thank you Robert. This is a must read for big and little kids, alike!
Stick around for more of Robert’s Ella Saw The Tree Blog Tour.
You can discover more of Robert’s books, here.
Big Sky Publishing May 2017