Page by page, young readers are guided through a sun salutation, one of the most recognizable sequences in contemporary Western yoga.
Hinder’s exuberant style radiates a color palette warm as the morning sun. Subtle details seem to shimmer on the page. The text opens with wonderful simplicity, providing movement instruction and inviting readers to notice what they experience. It quickly becomes overworked, however, abandoning simplicity in favor of forced rhyme. The text alone does little to explain the movements, and the accompanying images are problematic as models. Like many yoga-themed picture books published recently, this work falls prey to the trap of presenting yoga sequences that are recognizable to adults without adapting the poses for young bodies. The plank and knee-chest-chin poses depicted, for example, require an inappropriate degree of core strength for the target audience. The single child depicted is overtly feminine in appearance. A contemplative, closed-mouth smile graces a tan-skinned face framed by flowing dark hair. While this version of feminine serenity will certainly appeal widely to yoga teachers and practitioners, it simultaneously reinforces stereotypical notions that yoga is an activity for “girls”—one limited to a certain kind of girl at that. Chipper animals flock to the child at every turn; one nearly expects the cast of characters to burst into song. Backmatter presents the flow of the salutation and discusses both the practice and meditation.
The Disney-princess version of a yoga picture book; undoubtedly marketable and predictably flawed.(Picture book. 4-8)