|Image from BarnesandNoble.com|
This book of simple yoga poses features a multicultural cast of children who gather to practice yoga together, “Namaste to the morning.” Each child models a different pose and then imagines themselves transformed into that animal, from a playful dog to a hopping frog. The children gather together to be mountains, soaring high. As the sun climbs high into the sky, the children finish by relaxing on the ground in corpse pose.
Yoo created her illustrations with a combination of linoleum block prints, pencil drawings, and Photoshop. The color palate is grounded by two shades of green, a yellow-ish, lime-ish green and a darker, cooler, jungle green. The greens surround the colorfully dressed children in a calming, natural atmosphere. The non-rhyming text is simultaneously poetic and instructive. After explaining each pose, Yoo includes a few descriptive lines that will help children as they imagine each animal.
If you’re new to yoga, but still want to introduce your toddlers and preschoolers, this book is the way to go. The poses are basic and the connections to the animal namesake are very clear. There are only eight poses in the book, enough to get kids engaged, but not so many that it becomes tedious or overwhelming.
If you have an active child, this is a fun book to read together. Once they figure out the moves, you can read the book and they can show you their poses. This gives you the chance to sit and take a breather and kids who aren’t so good at sitting still can still enjoy the activity of reading together.
Since this book ends in a quiet and calming manner, it’s nice to use it at the end of storytime or right before nap time. If you want to keep the calming atmosphere, prepare for the book with rhymes and songs, rather than using them as a follow up to the book. Try the rhymes, I’m a Lion and I am a Snake.