The best children’s books aren’t condescending toward kids, they uplift the inner child in each of us. Think of the playful wisdom and imagination of Norton Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth, or Dr. Seuss’ Oh, the Places You’ll Go! Both works take their adolescent characters on exciting adventures, while also exploring deeper, spiritual dimensions. Now more than ever, kids and adults need stories that transport us to a different time and place.
In Jaimal Yogis’ new children’s book Mop Rides the Waves of Life, the central character “Mop” becomes obsessed with surfing and his board becomes his magic carpet. Mop just wants to surf, but he struggles with big emotions like fear and doubt, especially when people tease him for his big “mop” of hair. At school, he feels insecure and frustrated, but once he enters the ocean, he discovers his secret source of power in the rise and fall of the waves.
After his surfer mom teaches him meditation and mindfulness, Mop has an epiphany: emotions move like waves. He realizes his mind is like the sea, always changing. Why not ride good feelings (joy, love) and let the tough stuff (shame, anger) pass without panicking? Instead of shoving his buddy Toby in the sandbox, he takes his frustrations to the beach and learns to channel that energy into riding the waves.