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)