Title: Remember the Stars: A Little Zen for Little Ones
Author: Sanjay Nambiar
Year published: 2012
Publisher: Umiya Publishing
Number of pages: 32
Recommended age: 4+
Reviewed by: Renee and Danielle (Mother and Daughter)
Summary (from Amazon): The latest in the picture book series A Little Zen for Little Ones, this is the story of a wise boy whose parents love him and worry about him. They worry about his health, his happiness, and everything else. The boy explains how his parents’ anxieties make him feel and ask them to consider focusing on the present moment instead of worrying about the future. The story’s message touches upon core Zen concepts of being present and not allowing one’s worries disconnect them from what is truly important.
** We are experimenting with a different format for our reviews to make it a bit more streamlined and consistent. We got the idea for the interview format from Melinda and her daughter Imagineer from the wonderful blog Mom on the Make. **
1. What is the story about? This story is about a boy whose parents worry too much.
2. What do you think of the cover and/or the pictures in the book? The pictures in the book are pretty and my favorite is the one where the family is looking at the stars.
3. Who is/are the main character(s)? Can you relate to them? The main characters are the boy and his parents. Sometimes I feel like the boy feels in the story [Insert sobbing Mom].
4. Have you experienced anything in your life like what happens in this book? I have gone camping with my family but we spent more time being a family and I even got to look up at the stars.
5. What is your favorite part of the story? My favorite part of the story is when the parents finally look up at the stars and don’t worry anymore.
6. What is your least favorite part of the story? My least favorite part of the story is when the parents worry too much.
7. Are there parts of the story that don’t make sense? No, it all makes sense.
8. How did the story make you feel? It made me feel sad to see how the parents were worrying but then I was happy when they stopped worrying and started paying more attention to the little boy.
9. What lessons did you learn from this story? I learned that it’s important to be present in the moment and not worry about the future so much.
10. Who do you think would like this book? I think boys and girls 5 to 10 would like this book. And I think parents should read this book.
What it’s about: Remember the Stars (A Little Zen for Little Ones) (Umiya Publishing), by Sanjay Nambiar, was awarded the prestigious Mom’s Choice Awards Silver Medal (2012) as being among the best in family-friendly media, products, and services. The story is told from a little boy’s perspective as he watches his parents constantly worrying about him getting hurt, getting sick, and being cared for in general. But it is the boy who teaches his parents the valuable lesson of being present in the moment and to just stop worrying.
What I liked and disliked about it: Every now and then, something about a book just resonates with me. Do you find yourself saying to your kids, “Hang on, I have to just quickly check my email”; “Hang on, I just have to grab this load of laundry”; “Hang on, I just have to make a quick phone call” “Hang on”; “Hang on”; “Hang on”; “Just a minute”. If I had a nickel for every time I utter those words… As parents, we feel constantly weighed down with responsibilities tied to our work, friends, family, spouse, and children. In the midst of all the juggling, how often do we drop everything and just “be” in the moment?
Most of the books we review are written for the enjoyment of children. If parents are entertained as well, that is a bonus (especially if you are reading the book for the 20th time). What an opportunity to read a beautifully written and illustrated children’s book that is meant to be read to a child but whose message is specifically targeting parents! This book really had an impact on me because I could recognize myself in the characters of the parents. I could related to all the planning and worrying we do around our children trying to ensure that they have the best possible life all the while missing opportunities to really connect with them and enjoy shared experiences in the present moment.
The most poignant lines in the book occur when the little boy takes his parents’ hands, looks them in the eye, and says the following to them:
“You’re so worried about tomorrow.
You’re so worried about me being hungry or cold.
But look at me. I’m having fun.
Just look up, or you’ll miss the stars.”
Oh, it just gave me chills writing those lines! The little boy nails it with his message: Stop worrying and enjoy this moment with me.
Along with this important message, the book is beautifully illustrated. Here is an example of one of the illustrations – this one is both my daughter’s and my favorite.
One final thing that I would like to mention is that at the back of the back there is a note from the author discussing the meaning of the book as well as encouragement to stop worrying and to be present for our children. On the very final page, there is a connect-the-dots image to outline some of the constellations in the image above. That was a nice touch to the book.
My bottom line: This is one of my favorite pictures books of the year! I would highly, highly recommend this book to parents who have children ages 3+. Please consider entering the giveaway below for your chance to own this wonderful book.
*Remember the Stars was provided to us free-of-charge by the author’s publicist.*
About the Author
Sanjay Nambiar grew up in Carson, CA, where he overcame a gang- and drug-riddled environment with the help of a closely-knit family and a focus on education. He graduated with honors from U.C. Berkeley, with degrees in Economics and Neurobiology, and earned an M.B.A. from UCLA. He now is a freelance copywriter in Los Angeles, CA. Sanjay practices meditation on a daily basis and sees extraordinary potential for happiness (and frustration) in the confluence of Western lifestyles and Eastern philosophies. Through his books, Sanjay hopes to inspire readers to consider life in a different perspective, one that incorporates a little bit of Zen as well as a lot of fun. He won a Mom’s Choice Awards Silver Medal and a Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Awards Gold Medal for his debut book, “Maybe (A Little Zen for Little Ones)”.
Prize: 1 Print Copy of Remember the Stars by Sanjay Nambiar
Contest closes: December 20th, 2012, 11:59 pm EST
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below
Terms and Conditions: A randomly drawn winner will be contacted by email 48 hours after the giveaway ends. Winners will have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send us an email!
**Good Luck Everybody!!**
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