Not the strongest in the series, but a good introduction to keeping the mind and body active and healthy.

READ REVIEW

SEE HOW WE MOVE!

A FIRST BOOK OF HEALTH AND WELL-BEING

From the Exploring Our Community series

Ritchie’s five friends learn about keeping their minds and bodies fit and healthy as they prepare for a swim meet.

This latest in the Exploring Our Community series follows Pedro, Sally, Nick, Yulee, and Martin as they practice once more before tomorrow’s race, have fun together, and meet an Olympic swimmer. Using proper equipment for your sport, warming up, understanding where you need to improve and setting goals for yourself, decreasing anxiety and stress, hand-washing, eating a variety of healthy foods, and engaging in deep breathing and visualization are among the topics briefly addressed. Ritchie emphasizes throughout the importance of the mind-body connection: How one feels influences the other. Backmatter includes some fun things kids can do with their friends to achieve their 60 to 90 minutes of activity each day and a list of defined terms. This entry is not as seamless as See What We Eat (2017) in terms of either the flow of the story or folding in the learning without seeming didactic. The story is thin, but the relationships among the five kids (four with light skin and varying hair colors, one with dark skin and hair) continue to be a highlight. They cheer for and support one another and truly enjoy being together and having fun.

Not the strongest in the series, but a good introduction to keeping the mind and body active and healthy. (Informational picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-77138-967-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

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The many enchanting elements of dance and story in The Sleeping Beauty ballet come alive for young children.

BALLET SCHOOL

Read! Practice! Perform!

Three girls (Amirah, Violet, and Sahani) and two boys (Joonwon and Alejandro) take ballet class. They clearly demonstrate warm-up moves, basic feet and arm positions executed at the barre, and center-floor movements including jumps. Their facial expressions vary from happy to fretful. When they have performed their “reverence,” or bows, they are ready to move on to a performance of The Sleeping Beauty, a popular story ballet danced to a beautiful score by Tchaikovsky. Violet’s mom, a former dancer, enters to tell the children the story, and they act out the various roles, from the elegant Lilac Fairy to the evil Carabosse. Each role involves steps that they previously learned and very expressive facial and body emoting. Bouder is a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet and writes with enthusiasm and knowledge. The uncluttered cartoon illustrations are lively and colorfully detailed, depicting a multiracial cast (as hinted at by the children’s names). That Violet and her ex-professional mom are white somewhat undermines the egalitarian message. While it may prove challenging for readers to actually try the steps on their own, especially the jumps, they should enjoy practicing. When readers play the score (not included but readily available) in the background, correct ballet movement or simply expressive individual movements can result in a very enjoyable staging.

The many enchanting elements of dance and story in The Sleeping Beauty ballet come alive for young children. (glossary) (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: tomorrow

ISBN: 978-0-7112-5128-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

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Animals, action, and accurate information—packaged for kids. A winner.

YOGA ANIMALS

A WILD INTRODUCTION TO KID-FRIENDLY POSES

Uncluttered design and clear instructions mark this kid-friendly introduction to nine basic yoga poses.

Each double-page spread pairs National Geographic photos with a rhyming two-line verse, with action words set in display type. The high-quality photos are set within circles of bright contrasting colors. On the right-hand side of each spread, a child on a yoga mat (this photo outlined by an original mandala design) demonstrates a yoga pose inspired by the animal: “CURL like a cat! / STRETCH like a puppy! / ROAR like a lion! / TUCK like a bunny!” Four to six lines of instructional text in a smaller but still clear font guides readers into the posture and includes suggestions about when to breathe and how often to repeat the action or sustain the pose. A conversational foreword by yoga teacher Tara Stiles encourages children to “go with the flow” when trying the movements. Towler’s verses, including an introductory and closing stanza, speak directly to children’s interests: “Playful puppies run and fetch, / tumble, tussle, stop, and stretch.” Four pages of backmatter repeat on a smaller scale the photos of the animals that inspired the poses along with information about their behaviors and habitats, thumbnail photos of the five racially and gender diverse children modelling proper yoga technique, and the English and Sanskrit name of each asana.

Animals, action, and accurate information—packaged for kids. A winner. (Informational picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 19, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4263-3752-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: National Geographic Kids

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2020

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