By: Jaimal Yogis
Illustrated by: Matt Allen
Publisher: Plum Blossom
Publication Date: June 2020
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: June 2020
Mop is a young boy who just loves surfing. In fact, a great day to him is a day at the beach catching the perfect waves. Mop also likes school, except the times when other kids pick on him. Will his love and joy of surfing help him learn to cope with the rough days at school?
As the story begins, we are introduced to Mop. Why is he called "Mop"? He hangs upside-down from a tree and his big mop of hair flops forward - "People call me Mop because, well...Yeah." Next we see Mop head to the beach for some fun. He loves to wait for the perfect wave and then ride!
Mop also likes school but on Monday Toby made fun of the way he played four square. Mop let his anger get the best of him and he pushed Toby. The next day Izzy made fun of Mop's hair and so Mop shouted at her and kicked her blocks. On Wednesday, well, let's just say more unpleasantness was in store for Mop. It wasn't turning out to be a good week.
Finally, however, Mop's mom took him surfing. Yay! She knew Mop was upset about what was going on at school so she made a suggestion: "You're a great surfer. But you can learn to surf life, too." At first, Mop thought it was a goofy idea, but then his mom explained:
"You start by feeling your breath go in and out like the tides. Breathing mindfully helps you notice the emotional waves inside."
The more Mop's mom explained, the more sense it made to him. Would he learn how to control his moods and thus be better able to control the "stormy waves" at school?
Mop Rides the Waves of Life is a fun and unique look at helping children control their emotions and deal with rough situations. Using surfing, a sport that takes persistence, timing, and control, to help kids understand how to handle conflict works quite well. Learning the "wisdom of the water" and recognizing the good waves that you should ride and letting the bad waves go by is a great analogy that children can easily understand. To add to the fun, both the author and illustrator are surfers and it definitely shows in this imaginative book that nails the lingo and action of a real little surfer dude.
Quill says: Mop Rides the Waves of Life is a great book to add to your child's collection that will help instill the skills necessary to successfully surf the waves of life.