Mop Rides the Waves of Life (Mop Rides)

by Jaimal Yogis (Author) Matt Allen (Illustrator)

Mop Rides the Waves of Life (Mop Rides)
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
Series: Mop Rides

If only life could be like surfing! Having "funny" hair and being embarrassed in school is hard, but when little surfer Mop studies the lessons of the waves--breathing, letting the bad waves go by, and riding the good ones--he learns how to bring the mindfulness and joy of surfing into his whole life. 

Celebrated San Francisco surfer-journalist-dad Jaimal Yogis teaches 4-8 year olds timeless beach wisdom with the story of Mop, a sensitive and fun-loving kid who just wants to be in the ocean.

Going to school and navigating classmates can be hard--but all that goes away when little surfer Mop paddles out in the waves. With a few tips from his clever mom, Mop studies the wisdom of the water and learns to bring it into his life on land: taking deep breaths, letting the tough waves pass, and riding the good ones all the way. With newfound awareness and courage, Mop heads back to land--and school--to surf the waves of life.

With stylish full-color beachy illustrations from cover to cover.

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School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2—Mop is a young kid with curly brown hair who loves to surf the ocean on his yellow surfboard. He also likes school, although sometimes things do not go well. After a troublesome week—Toby calls Mop a baby, so Mop pushes him into the sandbox, and Izzy makes fun of his hair, so Mop demolishes the block structure she is building—his mother teaches him to "surf life." Yogis's debut about a boy who is learning to control his "emotional waves" by breathing in and out mindfully is full of good will and good advice, but its first-person narration varies between one natural to Mop and another that veers into all-knowing adult. With a drawing of two-digit subtraction during math, the book seems aimed at second graders, while the emotional immaturity of the main character is far younger. Eloquent illustrations mix a palette of composite, neutral, secondary, and primary colors using different shades of blue as a common denominator throughout; these depict an inclusive school environment with a multiracial cast and a child in a wheelchair. VERDICT Kindergarten story times will benefit from the focus on emotions and learning mindfulness, with the simple breathing exercises to help children discover how to navigate daily highs and lows.—Kathia Ibacache, Univ. of Colorado Boulder

Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission

Review quotes

"Pure gold—especially now. During a time when even the most angelic kids are prone to temper tantrums because of quarantine, Mop is an invaluable teaching tool and an all-around heartwarming read."
—Alexis Burling, San Francisco Chronicle

"Tells how one little boy navigates conflicts at his school by channeling the same techniques he uses when he hangs 10."
—The New York Times

"The book every kid needs right now to navigate their emotions."
—Bonnie Tsui, New York Times staff writer and author of Why We Swim

"Our minds can be as peaceful or as wild as the seas. Mop is a perfect cool character to introduce children (and overgrown children) to mindfulness so they learn to turn wipeouts into opportunities."
Robert Thurman, author of Man of Peace: The Illustrated Biography of the Dalai Lama of Tibet

"The Waves of Life are never easy to ride but these are our waves. They are waves we must ride because they're a part of us. No one can ride our waves for us. Embrace the process and the ride becomes smoother and sweeter."
—Gerry Lopez, aka Mr. Pipeline

"What if every kid on the planet understood and had access to their blue mind? Mop, Jaimal, and Matthew are making the world healthier one wave at a time."
Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, author of Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do

"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."
—Lion's Roar

"What Mop and his classmates learn—what we can all learn—is that life presents endless challenges and equally innumerable opportunities for growth. Learning to recognize when we're wrong is an invaluable tool."
—Memphis Parent

"Mop shows kids how he rides the waves of emotions in this delightful and summery story."
—First Time Parent Magazine

Jaimal Yogis
Jaimal Yogis is the author of numerous books including Saltwater Buddha and All Our Waves Are Water, which was named a Best Beach Read of 2017 by the BBC. His work has been featured in the pages of O, the Oprah Magazine, Outside, Forbes, The Atlantic, ESPN Magazine, and many others. He lives and surfs in San Francisco with his wife, Amy DuRoss, and their three sons.

Matthew Allen is a surfer and artist from Southern California. A former Surfer Magazine Art Director, Matthew now spends his days creating art based on his favorite muses, the mercurial sea and the amalgam of people and vessels that operate in and around it. Matthew lives in Costa Mesa, California.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Plum Blossom
Publication date
June 20, 2020
Mop Rides
BISAC categories
JUV039050 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Emotions & Feelings
JUV039140 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
JUV032060 - Juvenile Fiction | Sports & Recreation | Water Sports
Library of Congress categories
Picture books
Mindfulness (Psychology)

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