Award-winning author and Middle School English teacher, Sunshine O’Donnell, has written and illustrated a series of mindfulness books for babies and toddlers for Out Breath Press. The Nesting House stores will be exclusively carrying the first release of Your Vacation on Planet Earth, a board book for babies and toddlers. Sunshine shared, “Your Vacation on Planet Earth was created to welcome new human beings to the planet with love, joy and honesty so that they can learn to become native mindful thinkers.”
Sunshine spent most of her career in education teaching creative writing and art to underserved children in poverty-stricken schools, shelters, mental health facilities, and residential facilities through The Coffeehouse Project, a mobile literacy classroom she founded in the early 1990s. She said, “A lot of my students suffered from untreated post-traumatic stress, and they were eager to learn healthy tools for managing the tsunamis of nervous-system alarms they experienced throughout the day. For some of them, mindful breathing and walking became surprisingly transformative experiences.”
The inspiration for Vacation on Planet Earth and her other books came from a technique Sunshine developed many years ago — something kids she worked with loved to use when they needed to shift perspective. Sunshine shared that she “encouraged kids to think about life here as a temporary vacation on Earth, and experience this moment as if you were a tourist, or a curious alien.” She continued, “When you think about your life as a vacation, a time to feel peaceful, non-judgmental, and open to new experiences, everyday objects (such as broken crack vials on the playground) become curious artifacts, and challenging moments become fascinating learning experiences instead of overwhelming catastrophes.”
When Sunshine gave birth to her son in 2006, she created a series of books for him using these same analogies she’d developed for her students. By far, the vacation book was his favorite, and soon other parents asked for computer printed copies. Now, 12 years later, she still has friends and neighbors requesting her books, particularly Your Vacation on Planet Earth, to give to expectant parents as gifts.
The owners of The Nesting House fell in love with Sunshine’s book series and asked for exclusivity to the first run of each of the books. Sunshine said, “I love The Nesting House because the company mission aligns so perfectly with everything we believe to be important as parent consumers.”
The Nesting House will feature Your Vacation on Planet Earth at all their locations and you can also purchase the book on The Nesting House website.