Useful for caregivers who already practice Pilates but for newbies, not so much.

MY FIRST BOOK OF PILATES

PILATES FOR CHILDREN

From the My First Book of series

Given the recent popularity of yoga and mindfulness practices, it was only a matter of time before someone would publish a sturdy board book that purports to teach Pilates to preschoolers.

Ouerghi uses metaphor to illustrate 12 exercises that are strikingly similar to yoga poses. Her brief introduction doesn’t explain the difference between yoga and Pilates. A list of tips on the following page alludes to Pilates’ slower pace, but actual instruction is minimal, with no guidance as to the speed at which the exercises should be done or how many times they should be repeated. Eleven exercises follow, one per double-page spread. On verso, children are told to imagine being an animal, a boat, a bridge, or even pencils, while fanciful pictures hint at the prescribed exercise. For example, above a picture of two bears—one roasting marshmallows and the other using a saw (bizarrely) to shave bark off a log—text reads, “Imagine that your hands can saw through wood.” This will not help youngsters understand the seated alternate twist pictured on the right. Similarly, cute monkeys cutting paper in a tree seem unrelated to the scissor kick. On each recto, numbered illustrations of a child modeling the actions accompany rather cryptic instructions. The children display a variety of skin tones.

Useful for caregivers who already practice Pilates but for newbies, not so much. (Board book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-63322-589-3

Page Count: 30

Publisher: Walter Foster Jr.

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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Adults looking for an easy entry into this subject will not be disappointed.

CLIMATE CHANGE FOR BABIES

From the Baby University series

This book presents a simplified explanation of the role the atmosphere plays in controlling climate.

The authors present a planet as a ball and its atmosphere as a blanket that envelops the ball. If the blanket is thick, the planet will be hot, as is the case for Venus. If the blanket is thin, the planet is cold, as with Mars. Planet Earth has a blanket that traps “just the right amount of heat.” The authors explain trees, animals, and oceans are part of what makes Earth’s atmosphere “just right.” “But…Uh-oh! People on Earth are changing the blanket!” The book goes on to explain how some human activities are sending “greenhouse gases” into the atmosphere, thus “making the blanket heavier and thicker” and “making Earth feel unwell.” In the case of a planet feeling unwell, what would the symptoms be? Sea-level rises that lead to erosion, flooding, and island loss, along with extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, blizzards, and wildfires. Ending on a constructive note, the authors name a few of the remedies to “help our Earth before it’s too late!” By using the blanket analogy, alongside simple and clear illustrations, this otherwise complex topic becomes very accessible to young children, though caregivers will need to help with the specialized vocabulary.

Adults looking for an easy entry into this subject will not be disappointed. (Board book. 3-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4926-8082-6

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Sourcebooks eXplore

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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Like a concerto for the heart.

DANCING HANDS

HOW TERESA CARREÑO PLAYED THE PIANO FOR PRESIDENT LINCOLN

Venezuelan pianist Teresa Carreño performs for President Abraham Lincoln amid a raging Civil War in Engle and López’s portrait of an artist.

Thanks to parental encouragement, Teresita learned about “all the beautiful / dark and light keys / of a piano” at an early age. By the age of 6, she composed original songs. Revolución in Venezuela soon drove an 8-year-old Teresa and her family to sail across the stormy sea to the United States, but the Carreño family arrived only to find another violent conflict—“the horrible Civil War”—in their adopted country. Despite the initial alienation that comes from being in an unfamiliar country, Teresita continued to improve and play “graceful waltzes and sonatas, / booming symphonies, and lively folk songs.” The Piano Girl’s reputation spread far, eventually garnering the attention of Lincoln, who invited the 10-year-old to perform at the White House! Yet the Civil War festered on, tormenting Teresita, who wished to alleviate the president’s burdens for at least one night. “How could music soothe / so much trouble?” Half biographical sketch, half wide-eyed tribute, Engle and López’s collaboration endearingly builds to Teresa’s fateful meeting with Lincoln like a gravitational pull, with bursts of compassion and admiration for both artist and public servant. Engle’s free verse whirls and twirls, playful and vivacious, while López’s vivid, colorful artwork elevates this story to heavenly heights.

Like a concerto for the heart. (historical note) (Informational picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4814-8740-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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