Toddlers are invited to imitate 21 basic yoga poses modeled by a serene teddy bear that is also available for purchase.
Only the poses are shown. There are no hints about how to achieve the pose (getting into pigeon or eagle position using only the illustration may prove difficult), modify the posture, or transition between poses. Nor is there any discussion of meditation or the philosophy behind yoga practice. The uncluttered, child-friendly design overshadows these concerns. Caregivers can find instructional information in other, more detailed manuals or videos or on the Meddy Teddy website, where a bear that can be bent into yoga positions is sold. The book is designed to help young children recognize and perhaps try the poses, even if they do not have the poseable bear. The teddy bear, with its cream-colored yoga pants, stitched-on smile, and constantly closed eyes, is a nonjudgmental and race-neutral role model. Most poses are shown on a single page with “Upward-facing dog” and “Forward-fold split” each occupying a double-page spread. Each posture stands out clearly against a solid-colored background. The designers avoid the use of confusing metaphors, labeling each pose with the most commonly used term for that position.
Despite the commercial tie-in, this is a worthy and useful addition to the growing list of books for young yogis. (Board book. 2-4)