I’ve been loving the books that publisher Walter Foster Jr. has put out the last several months. They’ve been promoting writers, artists, and concepts that introduce kids to different ways of looking at life: different colors, languages, and songs, for a few. There are two more books out this month that speak to young readers once more; this time, addressing mental and physical health. Let’s take a look.
ABC: Mindful Me (ABC for Me), by Christiane Engel, (March 2018, Walter Foster Jr.), $16.95, ISBN: 9781633225107
Recommended for readers 3-6
Christiane Engel’s ABC for Me series is so good for young readers and listeners. Her Baby Signs book illustrates the ABCs by introducing readers to simple sign language words that parents and children can use to communicate together; with ABC: Mindful Me, children learn the ABCs of being present and aware of themselves and the world around them. Using rhyme and child-friendly illustration, little ones learn about compassion and Zen; yoga and mandalas. There are even activities for caregivers and kids to work on together: make a mandala using found objects; make a gratitude tree, engage in some deep breathing and meditation. An index at the end helps us grownups refer to the 26 different “mindfulness pillars” introduced throughout the book. It’s a nice addition to young reader collections, and could be a good add to storytimes (especially yoga storytimes) and social discussions about empathy and kindness to ourselves and others.
My First Book of Pilates: Pilates for Children, by Rida Ouerghi/Illustrated by Elsa Fouquier, (May 2018, Walter Foster Jr.), $16.95, ISBN: 9781633225893
Recommended for readers 3-6
This is SO cute, and so perfect for my toddler/preschool yoga kids. An introduction to Pilates, this fits right in with books like Downward Dog with Diego, where kids learn simple yoga poses through animal illustrations. My First Book of Pilates offers a little more information, introducing readers to 12 Pilates poses, one per spread. On the left hand page, Rida Ouerghi and Elsa Fouquier use creative visualization to show us anthropomorphic explanations that make perfect sense to kids – imagine being a boat floating on the water; imagine rolling around like a hedgehog – and on the right hand page, an illustrated child recreating the Pilates pose, with simple instructions. There are some helpful tips at the beginning of the book to get your kiddos started. Absolute fun, and absolutely adorable! During a storytime, you can easily add some mindfulness practice in with the imagines, too: ask the kids to close their eyes and envision themselves floating on the water, rolling like a ball, or feeling their legs become strong, like trees.