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TWIST by Janet S. Wong


Yoga Poems

by Janet S. Wong & illustrated by Julie Paschkis

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Feb. 27th, 2007
ISBN: 0-689-87394-8
Publisher: McElderry

The current yoga craze insinuates its way into children’s poetry in this attractively designed volume. Sixteen poems illuminate a variety of yoga attitudes, beginning with “Breath” (“Breath is a broom / sweeping your insides”) and ending with “Twist.” A multicultural cast of happy child yogis stretches and poses its way through the collection, framed in boxes set against mandala-like backgrounds that extend the theme of each given position. So a boy in the eagle position appears opposite the text box, both of which are set against a symmetrical landscape with mirror-image eagles perched atop, and so on. The poetry itself at its best both encapsulates the position in question and adds a zen fillip: “A warrior / takes his stand, / feet planted sturdy and strong. / Before long, he sees / he is heading the wrong way. / He turns and / takes his stand, / feet planted sturdy and strong.” Altogether, it’s a thoughtful, well-crafted approach to an activity that is beginning to make inroads into elementary wellness curricula. Whether this volume, like America’s infatuation with yoga itself, will have lasting appeal is debatable. (Picture book/poetry. 4-8)