September is National Yoga Month
Susan Verde, Author
Peter H. Reynolds, Illustrator
Abrams Books for Young Readers, Fiction, Sep. 8, 2015
Suitable for Ages: 3-9
Themes: Yoga, Children, Yoga poses, Quiet Mind, Relaxation, Imagination. Creativity
Opening: “When I feel small in a world so big, I calm my mind, my body, my breath. I can create and imagine. I am Yoga.”
Book Jacket Synopsis: An eagle soaring among the clouds or a star twinkling in the night sky…a camel in the desert or a boat sailing across the sea. Yoga has the power of transformation. Not only does it strengthen bodies and calm minds, with a little imagination it can show us that anything is possible.
Why I like I Am Yoga:
I Am Yoga is another home run for the creative team of Susan Verde and Peter H. Reynolds. Verde’s text is sparse, lyrical and creative. You feel peaceful reading the story about a young girl trying to cope with a world that is spinning around her. She is busy with school, homework, sports, music lessons and household chores. Through yoga she learns to close her eyes, quiet her mind, and focus on her breathing. Reynolds’ expressive and soothing watercolors compliment the story. He gracefully captures the girl practicing the 16 yoga poses as she imagines herself in nature standing tall as the trees, soaring among the clouds, dancing with the moon, and opening like a flower.
I am drawn to Verde’s beautiful story because I believe in the benefits of teaching yoga and mindfulness to young children. If children learn a yoga practice early in their developing years, it becomes a natural part of a who they are. It teaches them tools that bring balance into their busy lives. They learn to recognize stress and use well-known practices to still, calm and relax their bodies, thoughts and emotions. Yoga will benefit children for a lifetime and help them change their world…the world.
Resources: There is a kid-friendly guide at the end of the book that features 16 yoga poses to strengthen, calm and inspire children to live happier and healthier lifestyles. Each pose includes instructions. This is a terrific practice for both children and parents to do together. Since September is National Yoga Month, many yoga studios, teachers and recreational centers are offering free yoga classes and events in their communities.
Susan Verde and Peter H. Reynolds will officially launch I Am Yoga, Saturday, September 19 at 11 a.m. Join the celebration, which will be held at The Blue Bunny, in Dedham, MA. They have collaborated on two other books, The Museum and You and Me. Visit their websites.
Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.