Following the pattern set in Yoga Bug and Yoga Bear (2017, 2018), 10 toddlers model yoga poses whimsically named after sea creatures.
Their varied skin tones, hairstyles, and yoga clothes, which match the coloring of their animal partners, stand out against solid-color backgrounds. The brief text describes both animal behavior and the depicted child’s actions. Appropriately, Hinder begins and ends with deep breathing and relaxation, starting with deep breathing that makes “your tummy grow,” illustrated by a puffer fish, and finishing with a “sparkly stretch,” illustrated by a smiling “Starfish.” In between, her fanciful descriptions of yoga poses are not always useful. Young children unfamiliar with sea horses may be mystified by that metaphor. The poses emulating a dolphin and a crab are clear, but “Shark” (for boat or locust pose) or “Sea Urchin” for child pose are a stretch. A child in happy-baby pose waving four limbs is paired with an eight-legged octopus. The picture of a child in a wide-legged forward fold (“Jellyfish”) does not indicate how to move into the position. Thankfully, the final spread includes a thumbnail picture of each child in their posture along with the common name of that pose and clear instructions in small print.
This whale of a metaphor requires adult assistance to really flow. (Board book. 2-4)