Review: “Mop Rides the Waves of Life”

We review “Mop Rides the Waves of Life” by Jaimal Yogis and Matthew Allen.

Tracy Franz4 September 2020

Mop Rides the Waves of Life

Story by Jaimal Yogis; illustrations by Matthew Allen
Plum Blossom Books 2020; 40 pp., $16.95 (cloth)

We all experience both rough and calm seas throughout our lives. How can we witness those highs and lows without reacting in ways that cause us, and others, to suffer? This is a question for people of all ages. In Mop Rides the Waves of Life, a new book for children, a wild-haired surfer boy encounters a series of difficulties with peers and teachers at school—as well as some disappointment at home. When his mother takes him to the beach to go surfing, he is reminded that he knows how to work with water, in whatever form it takes. “You start by feeling your breath go in and out like the tides,” Mom says. “Breathing mindfully helps you notice the emotional waves inside.” Through clear language and charming illustrations, this book offers children and adults a useful metaphor for how to be mindful in every aspect of our lives—in times of joy, and also in those inevitable moments that challenge us.

Tracy Franz

Tracy Franz

Tracy Franz is the author of My Year of Dirt and Water: Journal of a Zen Monk’s Wife in Japan.