Take a Breath by Sujean Rim

Take a Breath by Sujean Rim. Caitlyn Dlouhy, 2022. 9781534492530

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Format: Hardcover picture book

Genre:  Fantasy

What did you like about the book? Bob is a bird, but he can’t fly. He has his reasons (“I shouldn’t have eaten that last pancake.”); he finds things to do on the ground (mowing the grass, chess), and he practices flying. But he never succeeds in leaving the ground. He starts to worry if he will ever fly. On a particularly low day, another bird stops to see if Bob is okay, and Bob completely unloads his anxieties about flying. The other bird, a crow “totally get[s] it,” and gives him this advice: “…you just need to take a breath.” The crow coaches him to “stand tall but relaxed with his wings by his sides” and after a few hilarious pages of deep yogic breathing, Bob’s wishes are granted.

The clever, funny text and the perfectly complementary mixed media art make this a wonderful and very entertaining look at relaxation and breathing as a road to self confidence. Kids will laugh at the images, and their adults will laugh at the humorous asides (I loved when Bob tries an ACME Flying Beanie, channeling his inner Wile E. Coyote).

Anything you didn’t like about it? No.

To whom would you recommend this book?  For ages 4-8 This would be a fun story time pairing with Jory John’s The Cool Bean or Corey R. Tabor’s Mel Fell.

Who should buy this book? Elementary school and public libraries

Where would you shelve it ? Picture books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

Date of review: April 12, 2022

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