5 Yoga and Mindfulness Books for Starting the Year With a Clear Mind
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The Children’s Book Review
Now that the craziness of the holiday season has hopefully subsided, and before you need to start making a gazillion classroom Valentine’s Day cards, it’s time to clear our minds and help teach our kids the importance of self-care and being present. There is nothing like the present to clear the mind by starting the year off fresh through the practice of yoga and mindfulness. From meditation to yoga to eating healthy, here are five sweetly illustrated kids’ books that encourage mindfulness through genuine, loving, and wise words.
Written and Illustrated by Sarah Jane Hinder
With Sarah Jane Hinder’s adorable board book, Yoga Bunny, even the littlest ones can get in on the calming and mindful benefits of yoga. Sarah takes readers through the ‘Yoga Bunny Flow,’ a series of 10 poses that mimic the postures of familiar (and very cute) forest animals—a raccoon, a bunny (of course), an owl, a skunk, a wolf, a fox, a woodpecker, a squirrel, a deer, and a hedgehog. The flow encourages deep breathing, stretching, and mindful movement. The illustrations are warm and inviting and represent a diverse set of children. Yoga Bunny is the fourth book in the Yoga Bug Board Book series, and it’s an excellent choice for babies and toddlers!
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Ages 1-4 | Publisher: Sounds True | January 7, 2020 | ISBN-13: 978-1683644248
Written by Deborah Hopkinson
Illustrated by Shirley Ng-Benitez
Being present and taking in the day and all it has to offer takes practice. From the moment the first bird sings to the final moment that the silver moon peeks out from behind a cloud, this is the mantra repeated throughout award-winning author Deborah Hopkinson’s picture book, Mindful Day: “Together we breathe: in out, soft slow. I look and listen.” A young girl and her baby sibling navigate their way through a busy Saturday, demonstrating to readers a sincere gratitude for life and living in the moment. The watercolor illustrations created by award-winning illustrator Shirley Ng-Benitez, breathe a calming level of peace to the pages and combine beautifully with Hopkinson’s lilting text. What a lovely perspective to share with young readers!
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Ages 1-4 | Publisher: Sounds True | January 7, 2020 | ISBN-13: 978-1683642794
Written by Joy Bauer
Photographs by Bonnie Stephens
If you’re ready to level-up your yoga practice (or begin one) by introducing mindful eating, Joy Bauer, a Today health expert, has whipped up some playful poses and combined them with some tasty treats through both design and recipe. Each of the eight poses, from triangle to tree, are presented on double-page spreads. On one side, a child demonstrates a pose, and on the other, a combination of photographed fruits and veggies mirrors the child. For plank pose, a banana, a strawberry, two blueberries, and a piece of kale are assembled to look like the planking child seen opposite. These same food items can be found in the lift-the-flap recipe for the berry-banana smoothie. “Sip-sip-hooray!” Delicious, fun, energizing, and mindful, this book is for foodies, yogis, and everyone in between.
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Ages 3-8 | Publisher: Harry N. Abrams | October 8, 2019 | ISBN-13: 978-1419738241
Written and Illustrated by Sofie Engström von Alten
Dino Does Yoga offers up an entertaining and rhyming story that allows readers to immerse themselves in the life of Baby Dino the dinosaur. From the moment Dino pops from an egg and spots a dragonfly and then a mountain far away, the little dinosaur feels as strong as this new land. Dino reaches for the sky in mountain pose before reaching up with hips aligned for warrior pose. Dino remains focused, curious, and grateful. And Dino also discovers that it’s okay to fall sometimes and take a moment in child’s pose before readjusting. This enjoyable tale leads dinosaur-loving readers through fifteen fun poses that end with a moment for relaxation and reflection.
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Ages 3-7 | Publisher: North Atlantic Books | July 16, 2019 | ISBN-13: 978-1623173067
Written by Élisabeth Jouanne
Illustrated by Ilya Green
Lessons, poses, meditations, partner activities, self-massage techniques, and more can be found in this how-to and instructional yoga book. It’s large format and spiralbound spine allow it to stand like an easel for easy hands-free viewing. The instructions are engaging, illustrated, and easy to follow, allowing readers and their caregivers to connect joyfully and breathe together.
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Ages 4-7 | Publisher: Twirl | March 5, 2019 | ISBN-13: 979-1036304255
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