Yoga Bunny (Brian Russo)

Hello, everybody! Today’s book is Yoga Bunny by Brian Russo, a sweet book about a bunny teaching his friends patience and calm through yoga.

It’s a beautiful day outside, and Bunny is going to spend it doing some yoga. As he begins practicing his poses, a few of his friends stop by to see what he is doing. Bunny invites them to join him, but each refuses: Lizard is tired and cranky, Fox is rushed and flustered, and Bird has terrible hiccups. Bunny is disappointed; he wishes his friends would try yoga, as they might find that its practice could help with their problems. Will they ever give it a try? Will Bunny ever find someone to share his love of yoga with?

This was another very calming children’s book about yoga, and in most places, it hit the mark. It introduces a few basic poses within the story (downward dog, sun, tree), with more examples on the inside covers. Unlike I Am Yoga, this is more a linear story about the benefits of yoga than its actual practice, stressing its abilities to soothe, calm, and focus the practitioner. The art was cute yet calming, and the length was nice. Only one problem: JJ was just not into it. The story seemed to be paced a bit slow for her, and she quickly grew disinterested, even in pointing out the different animal species. This one may be more appropriate for slightly older readers, but more so, for children more familiar and/or invested in yoga. Still, overall it was a nice, soothing book with some adorable illustrations, so we’re still calling this one Baby Bookworm approved.

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!