Imagine Eating Lemons: A Child's Introduction to Mindfulness

In aid of this years Mental Health Awareness Week, we're announcing an exciting project we've been working on for the past few months with author Jason Rhodes and illustrator Richard Dearing.

Imagine Eating Lemons is a rhyming picture book, designed to help children learn how to notice and manage their worrying thoughts and feelings, through the practice of mindfulness. Find out more below.

Chester Chestnut is a happy little chap, but sometimes even the happiest of chaps get worried or nervous and when this happens Chester's tummy starts to hurt. Follow the journey of Chester Chestnut as he learns about his anxious thoughts and feelings, where they come from and how to control them.

Imagine Eating Lemons was self-published back in 2018, and when we saw it we couldn't help but get involved. This picture book is a true gem.

This picture book encourages mindfulness set on the premise of ‘Look, Listen and Let Go’. LOOK at the thought. LISTEN to what it's afraid of and if nothing can be done in that moment, LET GO with slow, deep breathing.

When we asked author Jason what inspired him to write this book, he told us 'This book was inspired by my own mindful journey. I spent many years struggling with intense feelings of anxiety, often to the point of physical sickness. After searching in many different areas desperate to learn how to manage these feelings. I eventually joined a mindfulness class. Although challenging in the beginning, this practise eventually proved to be the missing piece to the puzzle. Mindfulness was the thing that helped everything make sense. After seeing how life changing this practise was, I knew I needed to share this with others - especially with children. I knew that if mindfulness was practised regularly at a young age, they would grow into much more present, self reflective adults. They would know how to redirect their attention away from their thoughts when they needed to. This would prevent them from having to experience the challenges of anxiety. Prevention is better than the cure.'

Imagine Eating Lemons can also be hugely beneficial when used in a classroom or educational environment. There are three different scenarios that Chester worries about, the first day at school, giving a school performance and being in the dark. This can open up the conversation about other things that children worry about, no matter how mundane they may seem.

Having books for children that cover trickier topics are massively important and is something we feel passionate about here at Graffeg. When we asked Jason about his thoughts on this, he told us 'A children’s book, and this book in particular, can help to teach by example. Instead of just telling a child about anxiety and breathing, it is much more powerful to follow the journey of a character and learn through their actions.' and we couldn't agree more.

Meet the Creators

Jason Rhodes came to write the children’s book Imagine Eating Lemons as part of a much larger vision. He wants to educate the younger generation with the simple tools needed to help manage their thoughts and feelings, resulting in a much more peaceful and connected world. Having suffered from extreme anxiety himself for many years he discovered the practice of mindfulness and life quickly began to change. He has now ended his career as a film actor and decided to focus all of his energy on helping to spread awareness of this life-changing practice.

Richard Dearing is a digital illustrator based in Bristol, UK. In the past, Richard has created illustrations for Swedish Prog band PreHistoric Animals, Californian wine company Stella Rosa, musician Von Geigerfelt and the card game "Exploriana". He was also featured in the Broken Frontier Award nominated Jeremy Corbyn Comic, for Selfmadehero and in the Amazing Adventures Exhibition in London April 2019.  You can visit his page here.

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