A quirky and bright introduction to meditation and Buddhism and an appealing addition to the subgenre of books on children’s...

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BINDI AND THE BODHI TREE

A cat who lives in a Hawaiian ashram demonstrates yoga poses in this picture book.

Bindi is a stray calico cat that spends one of her nine lives at an ashram after being adopted by Ramakrishna, who lives there. Though deemed scrawny and ugly at first, the cat blossoms at her new home, and seven years later she’s purred her way firmly into the heart of her new owner and become an integral part of the ashram community. Life at the ashram includes seva, or unselfish service to others, a duty Bindi fulfills by teaching a group of diverse students her own style of kitty yoga (“Sometimes we have classes with all Japanese students, so I’ve learned to speak Japanese! It’s so wonderful to know a foreign language!”). Bindi also inspires her owner to overcome obstacles, such as figuring out how to get down from the branches of the ashram’s bodhi tree when he becomes stuck. As Bindi narrates her story, she includes observations inspired by Buddhist principles, such as, when people “meditate they find that god exists right inside of them,” and “even though we all look different on the outside, we are all the same inside.” At the end of the story, the cat explains how to perform a basic mindfulness/meditation technique that focuses on deep breathing and mentally expressing gratitude for positive people and influences. In this engaging book, Michaels (Growing Old with Grace, 2015) builds a charming tale for children around Buddhist ideas and practices. Illustrator Porter’s (The Puzalings and the Puzville Pollution, 2016) artwork enhances the story with lush Hawaiian flowers and cheerful ashram scenes, rendered in warm hues. The underlying philosophy expressed in this colorful book may be too much for parents who’re merely looking for yoga instruction geared to children, but it never gets too heavy. Bindi may even inspire kids to get on the floor and try a few poses—especially Cat-Cow.

A quirky and bright introduction to meditation and Buddhism and an appealing addition to the subgenre of books on children’s yoga practice. 

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9978810-1-1

Page Count: 38

Publisher: Moana Publications

Review Posted Online: Feb. 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2017

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The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and...

WAITING FOR THE BIBLIOBURRO

Inspired by Colombian librarian Luis Soriano Bohórquez, Brown’s latest tells of a little girl whose wish comes true when a librarian and two book-laden burros visit her remote village.

Ana loves to read and spends all of her free time either reading alone or to her younger brother. She knows every word of the one book she owns. Although she uses her imagination to create fantastical bedtime tales for her brother, she really wants new books to read. Everything changes when a traveling librarian and his two donkeys, Alfa and Beto, arrive in the village. Besides loaning books to the children until his next visit, the unnamed man also reads them stories and teaches the younger children the alphabet. When Ana suggests that someone write a book about the traveling library, he encourages her to complete this task herself. After she reads her library books, Ana writes her own story for the librarian and gives it to him upon his reappearance—and he makes it part of his biblioburro collection. Parra’s colorful folk-style illustrations of acrylics on board bring Ana’s real and imaginary worlds to life. This is a child-centered complement to Jeanette Winter’s Biblioburro (2010), which focuses on Soriano.

The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and “iii-aah” adding to the fun.   (author’s note, glossary of Spanish terms) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 12, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58246-353-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tricycle

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2011

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CINDERELLA

This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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