I Am Yoga by Susan Verde and Peter H. Reynolds

September is National Yoga Month

i-am-yoga-coverI Am Yoga

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.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

32 thoughts on “I Am Yoga by Susan Verde and Peter H. Reynolds

    • Yes, I Am Yoga would pair well with Visiting Feelings by Lauren Rubenstein and Peace, Bugs and Understanding, by Gail Silver. I included these books in my earlier versions of my review, but it added to its length. Thank you for pointing this out.

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  1. I could have used this book in my teens…I needed that kind of zen every once in a while (still do, but I’ve learned to cope now). 🙂 Enjoyed your review, as always, Pat! Have a lovely weekend!

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  2. I was hoping you would review this one, Pat. Susan and Peter make such a good team. I am with you on the great value of teaching mindfulness and yoga to the very young!

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  3. I love the books created by Susan Verde and Peter H. Reynolds and have given them as gifts many times. I do yoga everyday and think it is great to encourage children to get in the habit. There is not enough sit and be still time for today´s kids. I can see this is another book that will end up in my little people´s collections.

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    • Yes, I love their creations too! Yes, I agree with you about not enough “sit and be still” time for children. But, it is something I think children would love to learn because it would give them more ways to be in control of their lives. I love that children are being taught mindfulness and being present in the moment. Thanks for sharing on twitter.

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    • It is a wonderful practice for children to still themselves. And, from what I hear there are more preschools and elementary schools teaching the practice to children! What I like is that it teaches a child how to calm him/herself.

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  4. Sounds like I could actually benefit from this one. I do think kids can benefit from mindfulness. I’ve done yoga with my son, and it seems to calm him significantly. I also have a singing bowl that he likes to play. Another way to bring focus inward. Very nice! Thanks for featuring this book!

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    • I’ve heard from several parents that their children were taught yoga in preschool, but not in elementary school. It would seem even more important to reinforce ways for children to relax and calm themselves during stressful times. So happy to know you ordered the book for your granddaughter.

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