This is a special interview with children book authors, Lori Bortnick and Mari Lumpkin, on their book My Peace Place. The book encourages children to find their ‘peace place’, especially in today’s high-strung world with busy schedules and much noise. I gladly agree to do a book review and interview Lori and Mari on EczemaBlues because eczema kids and parents have so much added stress in their life from managing eczema. Check out the book for tips on calming your child.
Mei’s Review of ‘My Peace Place’
The book is written by Lori Bortnick and Mari Lumpkin, illustrated by Natalia Buscaglia. The story itself fills up 15 pages of colored illustrations on various scenarios in a child’s life that create stress – for instance, being pushed in school or feeling ignored at home. The child then think of his peace place, where he can relax, breathe slowly and deeply and feel peaceful. The scenarios are realistic and thus offers parents a good chance to speak to the child on other similar stressors that may have happened in the day. It is easy to read for a preschooler who can definitely benefit from a parent’s participation in finding that peace place.
Apart from the story, the book also offers tips to parents as well as recommended yoga poses for the child. This is helpful as it further reinforces how stressful conditions are all around us and practical tips to calm ourselves. Overall, I enjoy the book and feel parents will find it helpful.
Interview with authors Lori and Mari
MarcieMom: Hi Lori and Mari, thanks for sharing with me your book. Can you share a little background on yourselves that lead you to focus on writing this book?
Lori: Thanks so much for having us and reviewing our book. I’m a preschool teacher and I love to help children think of ideas to have better lives. Lots of times, my children come to school sad about things they can’t control I think My Peace Place will help children gain a sense of control.
Mari: I’ve worked with children in many settings, usually as a literacy volunteer. I’m always amazed that people don’t see that much of the problem behavior we complain about our children exhibiting can be connected to their not having the tools to manage stress.
MarcieMom: At what age do you think children can benefit most from your book?
Lori: School aged children and kids in group situations.
Mari: I think children as young as three can benefit from the yoga poses and the deep breathing. I believe the ideas and techniques in the book could benefits everyone from age 3 to 103.
MarcieMom: If you were to write a follow-up to this book, what will you be focusing on?
Lori: How to bring peace to large groups. Once children learn to be peaceful in themselves, then they can learn to focus on reaching out and learn to find peaceful solutions in groups.
Mari: We’re also thinking of doing something about volunteering. That’s another healthy activity that releases people from their own worries and promotes peace.
Thank you both for sharing your book and this interview; it has been a pleasure and also a reminder to create peace in my home. One pet peeve that I believe in is de-cluttering the home because clutter equals noise in my mind!
Mari L Barnes writes for children under the pen name of Mari Lumpkin and for adults as ML Barnes. Her books, Parting River Jordan and Crossing River Jordan are proof that church can be funny. Mari’s company, Flying Turtle Publishing, specializes in books that families can share.
Lori Bortnick is an Illinois certified Early Educator with type 04 certification, a master’s degree in Teaching in Early Childhood and more 15 years of teaching experience in both private daycare and the public school system.
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