Unstoppable Me (Susan Verde)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Unstoppable Me, written by Susan Verde and illustrated by Andrew Joyner, a delightful look at the boundless energy of little ones.

A young child wakes, leaping around his parents’ room as they groggily come to. He is unstoppable, as he describes to the reader, a force of nature from the moment he wakes until the minute he falls asleep – and even in his dreams! He and all his friends love to spin, bounce, and tumble their way through the day, bounding through adventures and experiences big and small. Because in this energy, there is strength, potential, and drive – all the things that make little ones so unstoppable.

Lots of fun. Sometimes one of the best things a picture book can do is celebrate childhood – it’s a subject that kids can identify with and parents can connect to, and helps kids feel seen and validated. This one does so in wonderful fashion, celebrating the always-energetic child in an unapologetic and reaffirming way. While not every kid may be non-stop energy like the protagonist, almost all of them have experienced his same feelings of manic energy, and it’s nice that the book celebrates this as being normal and healthy (though it still includes some sly, sympathetic winks at parents who must corral these wild children). Joyner’s dynamic illustrations are a perfect compliment, each page busy – yet not overwhelming – with the little one’s activities. It’s an appropriately brisk read, and JJ really enjoyed it – this is a fun one, and Baby Bookworm approved.

(A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

I Am Yoga (Susan Verde)

Hello, friends! Our book today is I Am Yoga, written by Susan Verde and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds, a children’s introductory guide to yoga poses and a story about the benefits of calm mindfulness in one.

A little girl confesses that sometimes, the world seems too big. Sometimes, it’s hard to know where she fits in, or everything moves so fast that it’s hard to keep up. So when she feels this way, she tries to quiet her mind, relax her body, and open her heart. Then, she is yoga. In her yoga poses, she can be tall as a tree, or free as a bird, or strong as a warrior. She can be beautiful like a flower, shine like a star, or just relax and be. And when her yoga is done, the world is a much more manageable size, and moves at a much easier pace, for her mind and body are quiet and peaceful again.

Honestly, I hesitated before picking this book because no one in our family has really practiced yoga before, and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. However, this story was a very pleasant surprise! Simple, meditative texts that explore concepts like mindfulness, self-awareness, and calming one’s mind and body (not a bad lesson for hyper-wiggly little ones) are combined with very lovely illustrations that incorporate each pose with the feeling and/or object it is meant to represent. For instance, being in a row of trees in tree pose, or flying through the sky in crane. The result is a lovely, soothing book with gorgeous visuals and a calming effect. The length was perfect, and JJ really loved it. Overall, a fantastic book for anyone, be they practiced yogi or the completely uninitiated. Baby Bookworm approved!