About the Book
Title: Good Night, Animal World: A Kids Yoga Bedtime Story | Author: Giselle Shardlow | Illustrator: Emily Gedzyk | Publication Date: September 20, 2013 | Publisher: Company: Kids Yoga Stories LLC | Pages: 32 | Recommended Ages: 2.5 to 6 years
Summary: Say good night to the animals of the world! Calm your mind and body before bedtime by taking a journey around the world with this kids yoga storybook. Join six Kids Yoga Stories characters as you perch like a bald eagle, crouch like a tiger, and curl up like a sloth. The book includes a list of Kids Yoga Poses and a Parent Guide with tips on creating a successful bedtime experience. Learn something new, explore movement, and unwind together before bedtime!
* NOTE: Great news!! You can use a coupon code at http://www.kidsyogastories.com/ that will provide a discount of 20% off the current sale prices on ALL of the Kids Yoga Stories books. To apply the coupon code, you simply enter “marchtour” before you checkout and you will receive 20% off the cart value. The coupon expires on 04/01/14. Note that the 20% off will be on top of the current sale prices.
My Thoughts: Kids Yoga Stories by Giselle Shardlow are a series of picture books that integrate two of my very favorite things: books and yoga! The goal behind the books are to “get [children] laughing, moving, and creating” and these books do just that.
Through the use of beautiful, calming illustrations and using a soft palette of colors, Good Night, Animal World introduces readers to a diverse group of “yoga kids” (i.e., representing diverse ethnicities and gender). The yoga kids guide the reader around the world exploring geography, local fauna, and of course, simple yoga poses. Additionally, this book is intended to be a bedtime book, so while the kids are holding their yoga pose, they are encouraged to say “good night” to each individual animal. This reminded me of the sweetness of Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown – one of our very favorite board books.
The yoga poses themselves are simple and mirror the animal that is portrayed in the book. For example, there is the “Kangaroo Pose” which, you guessed it, involves a shallow squat with arms together like a kangaroo. This is best illustrated by the image in the book:
In addition to each page featuring an animal modeling a specific yoga post, there is a list of kids yoga poses with the name of the animal, the name of the pose, and an illustrated demonstration of each pose in the back of the book. Those of us who have done yoga before know that there are safety guidelines and these are stressed in an introduction to the book as well as a “Kids Yoga Stories Guide” in the back of the book which provides tips for the safe and proper way to introduce yoga to children. The guide in the back is particularly well done (it’s four pages long). There are details for how to create a calming environment, how to create a consistent ritual, how to relax and use repetition, and how to develop breath awareness plus so much more. This guide is EXCELLENT!
There is more than just yoga in this book! There is also a lesson on geography. At the back of the book, there are maps showing where the animal featured in each frame lives, as well as the name of the country. Each yoga child is also holding their country flag as they introduce themselves and indicate in which country they live. So essentially, in terms of a lesson in geography, children will learn about a country, one animal that lives there, and the corresponding country flag. I thought this was exceptionally well done and just adds that much more value to this little gem of a book.
So, how did this book go over with my kids? Well, I have done kids yoga with both my children before even when they were toddlers. I think my kids’ reviews are best told by sharing our photos. For the record, they tried out ALL the poses and just loved the book!
My Bottom Line: Good Night, Animal World is a lovely book integrating yoga, geography, and cultural diversity with some calming bedtime reading and rituals. The book includes a detailed guide to help parents (or other grown-ups) introduce simple yoga poses to their children using animals and kids from around the world who demonstrate the poses in the beautiful accompanying illustrations. More than anything, this is precisely the type of book that will help grown-ups and kids bond, connect, and spend quality time together before bedtime. I HIGHLY recommend this book and the other books in the Kids Yoga Stories series. Ages 2.5 to 6.
“This book has been so amazing for my 2.5 year old daughter! The illustrations are adorable! She is always so rambunctious at bedtime and this lets her get out some of that excess energy. She loves the book so much that this has been one we read every night. It helps my daughter fall asleep faster which means more time for mom in the evenings.” ~ 5 Star Review, cwalt047, Amazon
“Another GREAT book!! I used this book for my kids yoga classes for ages 2-5 years old. After a very active yoga class, we read this book and did the yoga poses before the resting portion of the class. My little yogis loved the pictures and saying Good Night to all of the animals one by one. I played a calming song with some animal noises in the background and we were then able to quiet our minds and bodies for the pose of rest. I think this will become a regular pre-resting story for my classes with this age group. My 5 year old son loves to read this book again and again too! Keep the great books coming!” ~ 5 Star Review, Stacy Daniels – Kids Yoga Teacher, Amazon
“What a delightful book to get young children reading and moving in a wind-down, calming story about saying goodnight to the animals of the world. I am a k-12 Reading Certified teacher who blogs about parenting at The Educator’s Spin On It. I am big fan of literacy activities that combine movement and geography in a loving parent / child interaction experience and Good night, Animal World does just that. This book would be a great addition to your book shelf.” ~ 5 Star Review, Amanda at The Educators’ Spin On It, Amazon
About the Author: Giselle Shardlow
Giselle Shardlow is the author of Kids Yoga Stories. Her yoga-inspired children’s books get children moving, learning, and having fun. Giselle draws from her experiences as a teacher, traveler, yogi, and mom to write the stories found at www.kidsyogastories.com or on Amazon (amazon.com/author/giselleshardlow) worldwide.
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Good Night, Animal World Blog Tour Schedule (2014)
* $25 Blog Tour Giveaway *
Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)
Contest ends: April 8, 11:59 pm, 2014
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