Will Preview Book in Greenpoint
By Stephanie Meditz
As a mom, meditation teacher and life coach, Sunnyside resident Sandrine Marlier hopes to teach children to process complex emotions – a valuable skill for people of all ages.
When it is published on April 4, her debut children’s book “Odette’s Alphabet” will accomplish just that.
The story follows an ant named Odette who wakes up one day feeling stressed, but takes a deep breath and feels better.
Odette then meets a mouse named Marcus, who feels scared. The two talk about their emotions and find ways to feel better.
After a series of mindfulness activities that correspond to each letter of the alphabet, Odette feels calm again.
Odette and Marcus walk each other home, and she returns to her colony to teach the other ants what she has learned.
“Mindfulness is throughout the day, and to me it’s seeing the sacred in the ordinary moment,” Marlier said in a phone interview. “ Just taking a breath, a meaningful, conscious breath, that is mindful. Spending quality time with someone, that’s a moment of mindfulness, because you’re aware of how precious that moment is.”
Odette’s Alphabet includes several breathing and tapping exercises, energy healing techniques and positive affirmations.
While writing “Odette’s Alphabet,” Marlier recalled things that she says to her six-year-old daughter, Emma.
“Kids are funny because they are so much smarter than some people think,” she said. “When it’s said simply, they understand concepts that could seem more complex to grown-ups, because they don’t have preconceptions about it.”
Marlier has been a model for the past 20 years. She first turned to meditation to cope with her own anxiety, and her mood drastically improved after just a few weeks.
She then began training with davidji, a meditation teacher and stress-management expert with nearly 40k subscribers on YouTube.
Shortly after she began training, she started writing “Odette’s Alphabet.”
“I was in a hair and makeup chair one day and there was a little ant walking on the windowsill,” she said. “She was so cute, so I started doodling her,” she said.
Once Marlier finished her meditation teacher training, she drew an ant screaming the letter A to manifest herself in the world.
She showed it to a friend, who asked if she was writing a children’s book with the alphabet. This inspired her to write “Odette’s Alphabet.”
“I had so much fun. I started writing down letters that were all concepts that were important to me and that I wish I had explored with my parents as a guidebook,” she said.
She also had a great time working with illustrator Leonardo Schiavina on illustrations that would catch both children and parents’ eyes.
On April 4 at 6 p.m, Marlier will hold a free book reading event at WORD Bookstore in Greenpoint.
“The goal is to do an introduction of Odette and how it can benefit parents, especially parents who are very busy and might feel like they don’t have time for mindfulness,” she said. “We’re going to do a few mindful exercises so I can show them that in a very few minutes, we can relax and do it with our little one.”
The event will conclude with a Q&A session and book signing.
To RSVP, visit https://shop.wordbookstores.com/event/word-presents-sandrine-marlier.
“Odette’s Alphabet” will be available for purchase at WORD Bookstore on April 4. It is available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and https://www.brandylanepublishers.com.
“Mindfulness teaches you…to deepen your understanding of your inner world as well as your outer world. If we don’t know who we are, we can’t control what’s happening inside of us,” Marlier said. “I think, if we could all learn from a young age how to acknowledge the emotions we have and have the tools to control our reaction to it, we would all get along better.”