From the Yoga Tots series

A good choice to safely teach yoga asanas to youngsters while promoting quiet, calm movement.

Another worthy addition to the Yoga Tots board-book series.

Happy Tiger provides step-by-step instruction for an energizing yoga asana sequence. Brave Bear (published simultaneously) takes a toddler through a morning stretch. Each book demonstrates seven asanas, skipping poses that can be frustrating for toddlers or cause a quiet yoga practice to dissolve into laughter. Happy Tiger eliminates balancing twists; Brave Bear skips Tree and Chair postures. Instead, the books prescribe flowing movements tailored to the physical abilities of tykes. On the verso pages, the eponymous animal characters model the poses while the text encourages children to channel their inner tigers/bears. These imaginative play prompts are designed to hold small children’s attention, but some of them (“How does it feel to be such a fine cat?”) may interrupt the young yogi’s flow. On the recto pages, seven children representing a variety of ethnicities, body types, and skill levels move through the same postures as the animals, and simple sentences convey the instructions, including breathing cues and reminders to repeat movements on the opposite side of the body. Attention to breath is a strength of these simple guides, ensuring that even adults who are not practicing yogis can safely guide children in the movements. Meza’s bright, colorful digital illustrations will appeal to the target audience.

A good choice to safely teach yoga asanas to youngsters while promoting quiet, calm movement. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 7, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-64686-492-8

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Barefoot Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2022


Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.

A lift-the-flap book gives the littlest trick-or-treaters some practice identifying partygoers under their costumes.

Little Blue Truck and his buddy Toad are off to a party, and they invite readers (and a black cat) along for the ride: “ ‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’ / says Little Blue. / ‘It’s Halloween!’ / You come, too.” As they drive, they are surprised (and joined) by many of their friends in costume. “Who’s that in a tutu / striking a pose / up on the tiniest / tips of her toes? / Under the mask / who do you see?” Lifting the flap unmasks a friend: “ ‘Quack!’ says the duck. / ‘It’s me! It’s me!’ ” The sheep is disguised as a clown, the cow’s a queen, the pig’s a witch, the hen and her chick are pirates, and the horse is a dragon. Not to be left out, Little Blue has a costume, too. The flaps are large and sturdy, and enough of the animals’ characteristic features are visible under and around the costumes that little ones will be able to make successful guesses even on the first reading. Lovely curvy shapes and autumn colors fade to dusky blues as night falls, and children are sure to notice the traditional elements of a Halloween party: apple bobbing, lit jack-o’-lanterns, and punch and treats.

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-77253-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016


Innovative and thoroughly enjoyable.

You think you know shapes? Animals? Blend them together, and you might see them both a little differently!

What a mischievous twist on a concept book! With wordplay and a few groan-inducing puns, Neal creates connections among animals and shapes that are both unexpected and so seemingly obvious that readers might wonder why they didn’t see them all along. Of course, a “lazy turtle” meeting an oval would create the side-splitting combo of a “SLOW-VAL.” A dramatic page turn transforms a deeply saturated, clean-lined green oval by superimposing a head and turtle shell atop, with watery blue ripples completing the illusion. Minimal backgrounds and sketchy, impressionistic detailing keep the focus right on the zany animals. Beginning with simple shapes, the geometric forms become more complicated as the book advances, taking readers from a “soaring bird” that meets a triangle to become a “FLY-ANGLE” to a “sleepy lion” nonagon “YAWN-AGON.” Its companion text, Animal Colors, delves into color theory, this time creating entirely hybrid animals, such as the “GREEN WHION” with maned head and whale’s tail made from a “blue whale and a yellow lion.” It’s a compelling way to visualize color mixing, and like Animal Shapes, it’s got verve. Who doesn’t want to shout out that a yellow kangaroo/green moose blend is a “CHARTREUSE KANGAMOOSE”?

Innovative and thoroughly enjoyable. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0534-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Review Posted Online: May 13, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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