The Ocean In My Eyes

A journey towards mindfulness

Title – The Ocean In My Eyes

Author – Marcey Heschel

Illustrator – Pei Jen

Genre – Children’s literature, fiction, poetry

A charming tale for little minds, which fills readers with delight on every single page – including its dedication to bubble makers, and a copyright infringement resulting in Nimbus clouds storming your seas. The story begins with a child who lives by the sea, and finds solace in the magical tides whenever she’s stressed. She finds a pair of magic flippers, which she believes a mermaid left specially for her, since they share the color of her eyes and the sea. When she falls off to sleep she awakens underwater, encountering coral reefs and sea anemones, turtles, crabs, octopi, and a host of sea creatures.

The child suffers from anxiety, and where people and human crowds make her nervous, the marine world keeps her calm and centered. Mindfulness helps her dive into the reefs, and turn her worries into bubbles that float to the surface and disappear. Sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touch – she is more aware of the things around her, acknowledging every sense and making peace with her emotions.

Written by Marcey Heschel in the form of poetry and accompanied with beautiful illustrations by Pei Jen, the story is recommended for the age group of 6-13 years, but has a lot to teach readers of all ages. Mindfulness is a concept that can be practiced by all, especially in the pandemic era with stresses running amok. The Ocean In My Eyes could not be a more timely book – with lockdowns and quarantine and social distancing, our senses have been challenged in the past year. The COVID virus itself causes a loss of taste and smell, our sights and sounds are strained with an overload of screen time videos and calls, contacts are limited to family members and the virtual world. Children are particularly affected with a lack of social interaction through home schooling and online lessons, cooped up either by being quarantined themselves or dealing with parents testing positive, vaccination quandaries for younger age groups.

The Ocean In My Eyes arrives like a breath of fresh air in these trying times to help children address anxiety, and also help them recognize anxiety in friends so they can reach out and be supportive. Psychotherapist Marcey Heschel has brilliantly blended her professional experience, life with her own children, and hobby of scuba diving to create a wonderful literary treasure of empathy. Let this magical story help you dive deep to find your hidden treasures, and be mindful of the world within and with out.

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