Saturday, December 19, 2009
Sea Otter Cove: A Relaxation Story
Sea Otter Cove: A Relaxation Story by Lori Lite is a part of her Stress Free Kids series, designed to help children develop stress management techniques. The book begins by asking the child to pretend that she is either the sea otter or the sea child featured in the story. She is to imagine that she is perched on a special rock, just like the book characters. Then, just like the sea child, she is to imagine how far down that sea rocks goes, all the way to the center of the Earth. This helps ground her, giving her a sense of security and connection to her world.
Lori then describes the sights and sounds experienced by the two characters, evoking images in the child's mind as she listens to the story. Imagining the sounds of ocean waves can be enhanced by playing an ocean wave CD in the background. The sounds of waves crashing serve to further relax the child.
At one point, a sea gull is flying overhead and drops a feather. The sea child fills her belly with air and blows to keep the feather up in the air. She teaches the sea otter how to place his hands on his belly, to feel it rising and falling as he breathes in and out through his nose. "Breathe in...2...3...4....breathe out...2...3...4." This belly breathing is a great relaxation technique for children to use.
As the sea child continues to teach the sea otter, more and more sea otters join them on top of the rock, until it is full of creatures breathing in unison. This part of the story evokes images of a whole group of children breathing together, to create a collective calm in their classroom. It also evokes images of families relaxing together, creating a deeper sense of unity.
The illustrations by Max Stasuyk are both gentle and vivid, at the same time. You can sense the calm and relaxation as the sea child and sea otter breathe in and out in unison. The bright colors also make the pictures appealing to young children.
This book can be beneficial to both the classroom and to the family unit. In these days of living at a frenetic pace, it is important to take some time out to care for self. Deep breathing relaxation techniques can help in this process.
Information provided by the publisher also states that techniques, such as deep breathing, can help children with many issues, including ADHD, OCD, anxiety, stress, anger, depression, panic disorders, hyperactivity, and more.
Purchase Sea Otter Cove: A Relaxation Story introducing deep breathing to decrease stress and anger while promoting peaceful sleep (Indigo Ocean Dreams)
A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.