Books by Four Oaks Press
Mindful Owl Adventures-Friendships Though Mindfulness
One moonlit night, as siblings Alexa and Chester are quarreling about their toys, Mindful Owl suddenly appears in their bedroom. To help calm them, Mindful Owl shows the children how to slow-breathe, think loving thoughts, and visualize flying in a bright beautiful sky – and amazingly, they fly on an adventure to meet Owl's animal friends.
During their exciting journey, Alexa and Chester learn interesting information about each animal – but most importantly, they learn how to be aware, to share and be loving and mindful of others. The children then impart the Owl's lesson to all the animals – how to be kind, compassionate, get along and feel safe. This is a "Reader-Participation Book," –the reader is asked to join in on the rhyming lessons and can participate by guessing and discovering each new animal, and is asked to help save one of the animals during the children's adventure.
Mindful Owl Adventures
Coloring and Workbook
The mission of Four Oaks Press is to bring more awareness to Mindfulness and Wellbeing for Children. Our books tell timeless stories with a modern twist. In some cultures the Oak is a strong reminder that mankind has the ability to overcome all odds with an endless capacity for kindness. At Four Oaks Press our goal is to help spread more kindness and love and less stress, while inspiring children, parents, and caregivers to become engaged in reading and especially in story-time – that special time to bond, learn, escape, relax and dream with your children. We hope to encourage a love of reading while helping the world to be a bit more loving and kinder.
About the Author
Annie Ranger enjoys teaching children ( and adults) about mindfulness through her writing, workshops and school visits. Annie has a Bachelor of Arts from UCLA and is certified in Mindfulness for Children. She has worked for Teen Magazine and, in addition to the Mindful Owl, has written a number of training manuals. Annie is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and is currently a K-4th grade substitute teacher. She lives in Los Angeles, California with her husband, two grown children, and their dog.
Story-time was always a favorite time for Annie when her children were young. After many visits from an owl, the Mindful Owl book began as a short tale she made up to entertain her children. Later, as her family embarked on their own Mindfulness journey, the story evolved into what it is today. She hopes her book will help bring more awareness about the benefits of Mindfulness to families and their children – that through Mindful Owl we can spread more awareness of the present moment, love, kindness and compassion and a little less stress, while getting children engaged in reading, and sharing a special moment during story-time.
About the Illustrator
Born in Sevastopol, Ukraine, Illustrator Anna Abramskaya graduated from Kharkov State Academy of Design and Arts. Since she was little Anna always loved art, drawing everywhere if she had pencil and paper. Anna works with different materials and techniques but loves pencil-illustration most of all. For inspiration, she listens to classical music while she works.
“The process of creation always brings me joy and I wish to share this joy with everyone. It is a joy to see the beauty in simple things around us. I want to believe that art can help us to bring more love into our hearts.” Anna now lives in Bellevue, Washington with her husband and two young daughters.
The Oak Tree
As the Oak is known for its strength and endurance and its branches reach to the clouds while its roots are planted deep into the ground, we hope our stories emulate the same. In some cultures the oak is a firm reminder that mankind has the ability to overcome all odds and has an endless capacity for kindness.
San Francisco Book Review
It’s bedtime – time for Alexa and Chester to go to sleep. Instead, they battle over who is going to get their beloved animal friend – the Mindful Owl. Much to their surprise, he magically comes to life and takes on a new role – the role of a teacher of important life lessons. He explains that he’s going to show them how to be peaceful and kind and learn how to share. This inviting and mystical owl begins by teaching them some deep breathing and relaxation exercises and then takes them on a fun and adventurous journey through the deep, blue skies and into the depths of the green and lavish forest. There, the siblings are introduced to Mama Bird, who teaches them how she protectively cares for her eggs. Next, Alexa and Chester cross paths with Speedy Bunny, who teaches them about the importance of staying focused and alert. As they venture further through the domains of the forest, they run into other kind creatures who teach them how they protect themselves and care for others, despite some of their appearances and perceived limitations. They gently instruct this brother and sister team on the power of forgiveness and kindness in the midst of challenges. Finally, Alexa and Chester have the unique opportunity to share all the Mindful Owl has taught them with their new animal friends before they end their delightful journey and return to the landscapes of the real world.
The author does an extraordinary job of weaving together a story that teaches real-life concepts from which all children can gain insight and wisdom and a tale that allows the reader to escape into the imaginary world of sailing through the sky and escapading through a forest filled with talking animals. She further engages the reader by inviting him or her to actively participate in the story by reciting rhymes, pondering who might be next in the story, and participating in breathing exercises to incite calm. The pages are beautifully illustrated, and the text is well organized and perfect for children with second- and third-grade reading levels. The audience for this precious tale, though, is more wide ranging. It’s highly appropriate for children as young as three through children in their early elementary school years. This innovative, magnificent story is sure to be a parent’s favorite and a child’s treasure!
"This clever and innovative book is a must read for young children and their parents! Mindful Owl Adventures is a delightful book which teaches children about mindfulness in a fun, interactive and playful manner. Alexa and Chester learn how to be kind and not fight, as Mindful Owl takes them on a journey to meet several wood animals and shows them how “...being calm, loving, and kind is easy to be, then you can live in the woods happily.”
Annie Ranger does a wonderful job helping kids to focus on their breath and be in the present moment, through the use of rhyme and interaction with the characters. For example, after mindful owl teaches Alexa and Chester how to full up their tummies like a big balloon and pretend to blow out candles in their room, the reader is invited to try this technique as well – “CAN YOU TAKE DEEP BREATHS, and pretend to blow out candles like Alexa and Chester?”
The illustrations by Anna Abramskaya are charming, and add to the wonderful appeal of the book. More than ever, children need to learn how to be kind to one another and stay calm in our ever-complex technological society.
~ Teresa Anne Power is the bestselling author of The ABCs of Yoga for Kids product line, founder of International Kids’ Yoga Day, and President of World Yoga Power, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit dedicated to making the life-changing practice of yoga accessible to everyone, regardless of age, location or finances.
"A great addition to children’s literature! Ms. Ranger creates a thoughtful and important tale about self-esteem and sharing. Charming, engaging and well illustrated, the interactive suggestions throughout will draw youngsters into the story."
~ Dr. Philip Cogen, Behavioral Health Services, Westwood, CA
This charming book will help children learn how to care for others and themselves through mindfulness and self-calming techniques. We see that unkind behaviors may not be intentional; and no one can go wrong with "hearts full of love and light will guide us to do what's right".
~ Rebecca Peterson, Clinical Psychologist
"A wonderful and empowering resource for teaching children the positive effects of being mindful of others. Encouraging calm and kind behavior while learning how to use sharing and caring to guide decision making is an excellent means of educating children about mindfulness." ~Trisha Treadwell, Physical Education Teacher
" Mindful Owl Adventures is a wonderful introduction to the practice of mindfulness for young children. Through an engaging and entertaining story with animals, children learn one of the basic tenants of mindfulness, the value of being able to focus attention on the breath. The story successfully capitalizes on the benefits of mindfulness, sharing, caring, and loving compassion, without labeling them as such. A delightful work for children!
~Tom Fraser MSPA, Inter-Agency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect