A straightforward introduction to yoga in a picture-book format.
In it, Spaniard Raventós tells readers that “many, many years ago in India, some men…decided that the simplest thing they could do was BREATHE” and invites readers to “sit down on the floor for a little while like they did.” Like other nonfiction picture books about yoga for children, this effort showcases child-friendly asanas (poses), such as tree, half-moon, cat, lion, and tortoise. But unlike similar titles, this book traces yoga’s beginnings to India and explains why and how asanas were developed: early practitioners needed to “train their bodies so they could stand still without complaining” and “train their thoughts” so that they could do “nothing more than breathing.” And, although the book’s protagonist is an unnamed blond, white boy, most spreads (by fellow Spaniard Girón) are of older Indian men and women—dhoti-wearing or sari-clad—performing the familiar asanas, a subtle representation of yoga’s ancient Eastern roots. Raventós’ prose is somewhat awkward and stilted, perhaps due to the (uncredited) translation, but Girón’s illustrations are calm and inviting. A reading guide provides further information about yogic breathing, and a pose glossary offers detailed instructions for the various asanas.
In connecting yoga with its roots, this book stands out. (Picture book. 4-8)