Monday, May 18, 2020

Review: Yoga at the Zoo by Teresa Anne Power


YOGA AT THE ZOO
Little Mouse Adventures, #1
by Teresa Anne Power
Illustrated by Emma Allen
Stafford House Books
Picture Book / Yoga for Kids
17 pages
ages 3 and up





Lovable, curious Little Mouse is here to help kids use yoga to solve problems and manage emotions in Yoga at the Zoo, the first book in the Little Mouse Adventures series from international bestselling author and Kids' Yoga Day creator, Teresa Power!

Little Mouse and his family live in a cozy burrow nestled in young Tammy McDoodle's backyard. Tammy and her mother love to practice yoga together, and Little Mouse loves to follow along. In this beautifully illustrated picture book, adorable Little Mouse, along with Tammy's wise and lovably lazy cat, Mr. Opus, follow Tammy on a field trip to the zoo and meet new animal friends, while learning simple yoga poses along the way. A new story-time and bedtime favorite, Yoga at the Zoo gently imparts important lessons about friendship, dealing with new situations, and meeting new people. Kids will delight in the adventures of Little Mouse and Mr. Opus, while parents and educators will love watching children apply their new-found yoga skills to quiet their minds and manage stressful situations.

       



MY TIDBITS

Cute characters and a laid-back, fun setting create a wonderful atmosphere for young listeners to learn a tiny bit about yoga.

Little Mouse lives in a burrow and has a warm, calm life. His best friend, Mr. Opus, is a cat next door and sometimes, they watch the family there practice yoga. Sometimes, Little Mouse even tries the poses himself. When the girl goes to the zoo on a school field trip, he and Mr Opus tag along—Little Mouse is so curious about the other animals! There they not only meet new friends but have a little fun as well.

Little Mouse and his friend, Mr Opus, the cat, are a lovely duo. The book starts with a quick glance at Little Mouse's life in the burrow and visiting Mr. Opus. While many yoga books for kids concentrate heavy on the yoga and dive right in, this one takes more of a traditional tale form, allowing Little Mouse and Mr. Opus to develop as true characters. There's a lovely plot as Little Mouse gets a chance to take his first trip to the zoo...leaving yoga as a secondary message, which slides right along with the tale.

The illustrations are very well done and add lots of little details. We enjoyed just gazing at these and enjoying each scene. The characters are nicely depicted and the tale comes to life on every page.

As to the yoga, this book surprised me. While yoga is definitely present and listeners will want to try the poses themselves, the aspect is actually pretty subtle. It's lightly explained that yoga calms and helps clear the mind, but this is built wonderfully into the story and not preached. The different poses aren't delivered in clear, instructive form, but also flow right along with the story. For example, the giraffe stretches his neck to eat leaves, speaks to Little Mouse, who then stretches his neck too. But it's built in so seamlessly, that it's not blatantly clear that they are illustrating a yoga pose. Especially young listeners are lead into yoga in this way without feeling like they're being forced.

This is a great introduction to a series, and it will be fun to see where it goes next and how the author continues in this path.

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