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The Mindful Adventures of Master Owl
I am excited to announce the launch of my second Master Owl book 'The Mindful Adventures of Master Owl' which is a Young Reader book for 7-11 year olds. It is just over 200 pages long, with 10 chapters and illustrations again by the amazing artist Beidi Guo.
Join Master Owl and his loyal apprentice Miss Bunny on a magical mindful adventure through the forest and to far off shores, where Miss Bunny makes a shocking discovery...
These Master Owl stories help children to learn about the value of mindfulness, the importance of kindness, generosity, forgiveness, honesty, daydreaming, play and caring for the environment.
Each chapter is like a short story which can either be read to the children or they can read themselves.
The images below show a preview of the new book.
The book is now available globally on Amazon, both as a printed book and as a Kindle E-book.
I look forward to hearing what you and your children think of this latest book.
We have really, really enjoyed reading this book - I have read this book aloud to my 5 and 7 year old and my 10 year old has listened in and then read it to herself too! I would say that even though the characters are aimed towards the younger children, the messages are still very much relevant and the characters loved by the eldest.
I think the way the book is set out is perfect for younger children, with short stories that quickly reach conclusion but also appeal to the older audience with key messages at the forefront of the stories and then the recap at the end of each story in ‘Master Owl's Wise Words’.
These pages evoked much discussion with my children and they happily gave their opinions and each story, what they thought, could they think of anything that the characters could have done differently, how might you tackle these situations.
My eldest daughter said “this book has made me stop and think. It’s good for you to just stop and breathe for a minute - it helps to clear your mind and relax. I like this book because it teaches you valuable lessons like how to be kind- it teaches you to notice your surroundings and how lucky you are to live in this world. I also think that this book may help people to understand how changing one thing will lead to changes in other things - this may not always be good for them or for our planet. It is important that we think about the consequences of our actions.” -(Olivia 10)
“My favourite story was ‘The Clumsy Bear’ because it was funny when the bear was trying to get to the bees nest and I love that he built himself a house and got an infinite supply of honey by building bee hives!” (James 7)
“My favourite story was the one with the elephant because he cut the trees down but then he fixed it afterwards." (Erin 5)
I really like the fact that all of the stories have the same theme running throughout - stop, take a minute and just breathe. Focus on yourself and relax - I think in this day and age when we are all running around constantly- this message needs to be heard. I am very guilty of having a million and one things zooming around in my head and not knowing which way is up some days!
The story that got the most laughs was definitely the bear! I think the short descriptive sentences really helped the children to picture it in their heads and they thought the bear initially trying to get to the honey was hilarious!
The children have really enjoyed this and it’s a book that we will go back to again and again, we will practice stopping and breathing and my youngest has gone to bed tonight and said she is going to practice her breathing!
Here is a sample of one of these stories. They each feature an animal who is not happy, a 'Magical Mindful Moment' with Master Owl, followed by a big realisation and a shift to happiness. Enjoy.
The Clumsy Bear
Some animals in the forest are stressed and very busy. Like Mrs Caterpillar, who rushed around all day trying to keep her little house tidy.
Some animals are lazy and don’t do anything at all. They sit around waiting for something to happen.
And some animals are right in the middle of being busy and lazy.
Mr Bear is busy and lazy, which makes him extremely clumsy.
Today he is attempting to collect some honey from a bee’s nest, high up in a tree. It is well known that bears love honey, but Mr Bear is always in such a rush. As a result, he is not very successful at collecting the golden nectar. Totally rubbish, in fact!
Mr Bear sees the bee’s nest. He hears the buzzing of the bees. And he smells the sweetness of the honey with his big twitching nose. However, he is down on the ground and the nest is fifty feet up a tall tree. He wonders what to do.
Other animals might stop and think carefully about how to climb the tree.
Mr Bear is not one of those animals!
First he starts to climb up the tree trunk, hugging it, trying to find enough branches to stand on. But like most tree trunks, there were not enough branches on the lower part of the trunk, so Mr Bear got about a metre off the ground and slid back down onto his big furry bottom. He left 20 long scratch marks in the bark, as his finger and toe nails dragged down the tree trunk.
Next he fetches a ladder. He is sure this is going to work. But because he is what his mother calls ‘slap-dash’, he gets half way up the ladder when it slides off the side of the tree trunk. The ladder and Mr Bear collapse to the ground in a puff of leaves.
Next he fetches a rope, throws it over a branch and starts to pull himself up. However, there are two problems. Firstly, Mr Bear is really heavy. Secondly, the branch he is using for the rope is not strong enough. It breaks off, sending Mr Bear and the rope back to the forest floor. BOOF!
Then he has a brainwave and fetches a small trampoline. He feels sure this will work. He positions the trampoline under the honey tree and then takes a long run up. He runs as fast as he can, which to be honest is not very fast. He could have been overtaken by a caterpillar!
With all his might he jumps onto the trampoline. But the canvas is not strong enough to hold his weight! He rips a huge hole in the trampoline and once more, finds himself on the floor.
He is no closer to the honey.
Finally, he went out and bought himself a pair of special tree climbing boots. They have spikes in them, which stick into the bark. This had to work, he thought to himself.
He starts well, managing to get some distance off the ground. But his hands slip off the tree trunk. His boots stick in the bark. He ends up hanging upside down, looking like an enormous hairy fat bat!
At this point, he gives up and decides to look for another tree with a bee’s nest, that is much easier to climb.
Talking of trees, back at Master Owl’s Home tree, the wise owl and his apprentice, Miss Bunny have just sat down to have breakfast together.
‘Can you please pass the honey?’ asks Miss Bunny.
Master Owl passes the honey pot, but sadly it is empty.
‘That’s a shame’ said Miss Bunny, ‘I wish there was more honey.’
Suddenly, there is a huge crashing sound coming from above and down falls a bee’s nest onto the breakfast table. It covers everything in sweet sticky honey.
‘Be careful what you wish for Miss Bunny! The Universe is always listening!’ says Master Owl laughing.
As they are wondering why a bee’s nest has fallen onto them, they look up and see a large bear. He is sliding down the tree trunk, looking a little embarrassed.
‘Morning Mr Bear,’ says Master Owl, ‘nice of you to drop in!’
Miss Bunny laughs. She loves Master Owl’s sense of humour.
‘I am so sorry about the bee’s nest ruining your breakfast’ said a very sorry looking bear.
‘It’s OK’ said Miss Bunny, ‘I was out of honey, but now there is lots to eat, so thank you.’
‘Come and join us Mr Bear, for a spot of breakfast,’ said the owl, ‘it looks like you could do with a rest.’
Mr Bear slides down the rest of the tree and joins Master Owl and Miss Bunny for some bread and plenty of honey. Thankfully the bees have already left to start making a new nest.
As they sit there eating, Master Owl asks Mr Bear if he was happy.
‘Happy? Not sure really’ he replies, ‘I am too busy to think about whether I am happy. I just rush around trying to collect honey and I never have time to stop and think. Rush, rush, rush.’
This reminds Miss Bunny of their old friend Mrs Caterpillar who was always so busy. She asks ‘does it work for you, rushing around all the time?’
Mr Bear thinks carefully and then replies, ‘not really, no. I am so clumsy and keep hurting myself. I don’t even rest in the winter, like most of my bear friends do.’
‘Perhaps after breakfast, you would like to join me and Miss Bunny for a Magical Mindful Moment?’ said Master Owl.
Mr Bear looks confused. ‘I have no idea what you are talking about’ he said.
‘You’ll see’ says Miss Bunny ‘most animals have never heard of Magical Mindful Moments. I hadn’t until I met Master Owl.’
‘Let’s all sit together quietly’ said Master Owl, as he flies down to the ground.
Miss Bunny and Mr Bear climb down the tree and sit down on the ground. They all cross their legs and get comfortable.
‘Let’s start with taking some deep breaths. Slowly breathing in through your nose and then letting the breath out through your nose,’ said Master Owl.
‘As you breathe in, think to yourself ‘I know I am breathing in,’ as you take in a breath and ‘I know I am breathing out’ as you let the breath out.’
They all took some slow, deep breaths together.
‘Now let’s take a moment to listen to the sounds around us’ said Master Owl.
Mr Bear hears some distant bee’s buzzing. He hopes it wasn’t the bees he met this morning. They might be in a bad mood. Nope, the buzzing is getting more and more distant. Next he hears the sounds of a small stream trickling water over some rocks.
He feels himself settle down into his body. Normally his mind is so busy, he totally forgets about his body. This explains why he is always falling off ladders, crashing through trampolines and falling out of trees!
Mr Bear has never noticed the sounds around him before. He has never noticed the feeling of his legs in contact with the soft leaves under him.
He felt himself melting into the sounds and smells of the forest.
This certainly is a Magical Mindful Moment for Mr Bear.
After what seems like hours of sitting quietly together, Mr Bear opens his eyes and looks around. Everything looks different to him. Then he realises the reason the wood looks different is because he feels differently inside. His mind is much less busy. In fact, he wasn’t really thinking at all. There was now a quiet kind of peace.
He silently gazes around the wood.
He sees the first snow flakes, drifting gently to the ground. One melts on his nose. Winter is coming.
‘Thank you Master Owl and Miss Bunny, for bringing me home to myself’ said a much calmer Mr Bear.
‘You are very welcome’ said Master Owl, ‘all I did was to guide you back to the still, peaceful place that is always there inside you.’
Miss Bunny said ‘I see our thoughts now, like waves on the ocean, rising and falling. But deep down in the depths of the ocean and inside us, there is a peace that is always there. Unchanging.’
Master Owl smiles when he hears Miss Bunny say this. She is an excellent student and is learning so much from him. Although he didn’t think he was really teaching her anything new. More a case of reminding her to notice the peace and silence that moves through all things.
‘My friends’ said Mr Bear, ‘I am not sure what has happened to me, but for the first time in my life I feel this strange urge to go and rest for the winter in a cave.’
Mr Bear says his good-byes and hugs his new friends. He heads off to find a cave to hibernate in for the winter.
Miss Bunny watches him leave. She notices that rather than rushing, he is walking slowly. He is taking in all the sounds and sights around him.
Watching the snow flakes fall is very relaxing. Miss Bunny thought snow flakes were always having a Magical Mindful Moment.
‘Come Miss Bunny’ said Master Owl, ‘let’s head back to our tree and leave Mr Bear to find his Dream Cave.’
‘Dream Cave?’ said Miss Bunny, ‘I have never heard of a Dream Cave before.’
‘Yes, it’s very helpful to day-dream sometimes’ said Master Owl.
‘Why?’ said Miss Bunny.
‘Because when we take time to day dream and be quiet, it’s much easier for new ideas to reach us’ he replied.
He continues, ‘if our minds are busy all the time thinking, then we can’t hear the words of wisdom that the Universe is whispering to us.’
Miss Bunny takes a quiet moment, but all she hears is her tummy gurgling because she is hungry.
‘I listened’ she said ‘and all I imagined was eating more honey!’
Master Owl laughs and they continue their journey home to their tree.
The snow continues to fall and the winter sets in. The streams freeze over and the forest is covered in a peaceful blanket of soft snow.
Meanwhile, tucked up warm and snug in his cave is Mr Bear. For the first time in his life, he sleeps and dreams all winter long.
There is one dream that he keeps having. He dreams of building his own house, full of honey all stored in little pots.
This wonderful dream keeps him happily asleep for the rest of the winter.
Then one spring morning, as the snow melts, Mr Bear wakes up.
He emerges from his Dream Cave into the warm spring sunlight. He gives a huge yawn and stretches out his arms. He has been asleep for months, so he is very stiff and very hungry!
The news soon reaches Master Owl and Miss Bunny, that Mr Bear is awake. They hear he is much calmer now, less clumsy and feeling very happy with life.
The word in the woods is that Mr Bear had a dream about building a very special house.
Many of the other animals didn’t believe the story about Mr Bear, because they knew him as the clumsy, busy bear. But Master Owl and Miss Bunny had seen the change come over him back in the autumn.
When Mr Bear’s house is finished, he sets off to find his mindful friends. He wants to invite them over for tea.
Master Owl and Miss Bunny are excited to see their new friend. Miss Bunny secretly hopes there will be honey involved! She does have a very sweet tooth. Her mother was always giving her sweet foods when she was growing up!
Miss Bunny is not disappointed when she sees Mr Bear’s house.
In fact, she is so surprised by what she sees that she can hardly speak!
It is a beautiful looking round house, with a little roof and chimney. But it was not the shape of the house that caught her eye. It was the six tiny little square boxes that were attached to the outside of the house.
‘Hello Mr Bear’ said Miss Bunny, ‘what a fantastic new home, but what on earth are those little boxes on the outside of your house?’
‘They are little houses for the bees, called bee hives’ said Mr Bear with a smile.
Miss Bunny is amazed. She had never seen bee hives before, only bee nests high up in trees.
‘You built a big house for you and six little houses for the bees’ she said, ‘but how did you dream up the idea to do this?’
‘Well’ said Mr Bear, ‘as I was hibernating over the winter in my Dream Cave, I kept having the same dream about building my own house with these bee hives attached to the outside.
In my imagination I could see the whole design. Before this winter, my mind was always so busy I didn’t make any time for new ideas to reach my mind. Now I daydream for a short while every day. It’s my own little Magical Mindful Moment.’
‘Can we see inside please?’ said Master Owl.
The three animals walk into Mr Bear’s new house. Inside there are pots of honey sitting under 6 little taps, coming out of the wall.
‘In my dream’ said Mr Bear, ‘I had this vision of building my house with bee hives attached to the outside wall. There is a little pipe coming through the wall and a tap. Now I can take some of the honey without disturbing the bees.’
Miss Bunny remembered the whole bee’s nest falling down on their breakfast table the year before.
Mr Bear continues, ‘so now I can take as much honey as I like and the bees are much happier too. We are a team now.’
‘The bears and the bees’ said Miss Bunny in wonder, ‘working together in harmony – that’s amazing.’
Mr Bear says, ‘yes and that’s all because of Master Owl’s help in reminding me to take a moment to stop and breathe. I have realised the Universe is always whispering to us. All we have to do is stop and listen.’
‘Would you like a pint of honey to take away for your breakfast?’ asks Mr Bear.
‘Thank you very much, but only a half pint for me please! I couldn’t carry any more than that’ replies a very grateful Miss Bunny.
Mr Bear took a little glass pot, went up to one of the honey taps and pours out half a pint of delicious golden honey. He gives it to Miss Bunny.
They say their goodbyes to Mr Bear.
Master Owl flies back home. Miss Bunny hops along, making sure she doesn’t spill any of the honey.
When no-one is looking she puts her paw in the top of the jar and has a little honey.
Back at Master Owl’s Home tree, Miss Bunny is enjoying a honey sandwich. Master Owl wonders if some of the honey has been spilt on the way back from Mr Bear’s house, as there is already quite a bit missing! He knew where the honey had gone. Miss Bunny’s tummy!
‘I am going to sleep now and I hope I have some amazing dreams’ said Miss Bunny with a large yawn.
‘Good night my friend. Dream well,’ said Master Owl.
He goes out onto his favourite branch to sit peacefully. To him, this experience of being an owl living in a wood was all part of some fantastic dream.
He smiles as he sits silently and enjoys the silence and peace of the night.
The moonlight shines through the trees and up in the night sky, shooting stars whizz by.
It was magical.