A multihued cast of characters introduce yoga to preschoolers and toddlers.
The binding allows these board pages to open flat for easy use on the mat. Moving through the alphabet, children and animals (and a few other natural objects) illustrate 26 common yoga poses. A light tone is maintained throughout. Engel's initial invitation reminds young yogis and their parents, “Don't worry if you can't get it exactly right—enjoy yourself and be one with nature,” and even in the final resting pose (“Zzzzz”), one of the two children depicted is mischievously peeking. The 9-inch-square format provides room on each page for a playful image of the animal chosen to represent the pose, a child holding the pose, and a rhyming three-line couplet that provides basic instruction about how to take the posture. For easy reference, all 26 poses, along with the proper names of the asanas, are repeated on the final three pages. The concluding brief explanation of yoga feels like an afterthought. Imposing an ABC structure also disrupts the flow, as each asana is shown as an independent pose instead of moving fluidly through vinyasas. Even cat/cow is disconnected, as one is called “Tiger” and the other, five pages away, is called “Yak.” There is also no mention of breath, essential to yoga practice.
Still, a sturdy and playful introduction to the popular practice of an ancient tradition. (Board book. 2-4)