February 23, 2012

School Library Journal review for You Are a Lion!

Another great review from School Library Journal!

PreS-Gr 2-The increasing popularity of yoga has even babies practicing asanas, and this picture book is a fun way to get toddlers started. Paired spreads introduce a pose in simple non-rhyming verse, accompanied by an image of a child on a small circle of grass (think yoga mat) in the middle of white pages; the spread that follows reveals the pose in a nature setting along with the creature the pose imitates. The instructions for the poses are extremely basic and appropriate for young children; the illustrations will encourage participation and some rambunctiousness. The sweet, colorful digital illustrations are melded with block prints and pencil and include half a dozen children of various ethnicities demonstrating such poses as a lion, a butterfly, a cobra, a downward-facing dog, and a few others. The soft hues and natural settings convey the spirit of a yoga class while looking like children at play outdoors. The text reads almost like haiku and will be simple to recite during a storytime or a yoga practice. There is no discussion of yoga, no Sanskrit beyond a couple of appropriately placed "Namaste" greetings, and the activities could be used to corral the energy of a rowdy group or an individual child. This is a good choice for introducing yoga into storytime programs, even for librarians who have never practiced a pose.-Susan Oliver, Tampa-Hillsborough Public Library System, FL 

February 16, 2012

Review for You Are a Lion

My second author book You Are a Lion also received a lovely review from Kirkus! The book is going to be available on March 15th.

Sometimes a stretch of the imagination is good for the body, as well.

Seven simple yoga poses (lion, butterfly, dog, snake, frog, cat, mountain) and a rest pose are depicted by a rounded and multiethnic group of preschoolers. An opening scene shows six children gathered in a grassy meadow: “When the golden sun rises / Warm rays fill the garden / Children all gather / Namaste to the morning.” Each subsequent pose is shown in a two-page spread in which a different child demonstrates the pose (“Sit on your heels / Hands on our knees / Tongue out! / You are a …”). This is followed by a two-page opening in which the creature joins the child, and the world around becomes its habitat (“…LION / King of the jungle / Roaring so loud / Make the woods rumble”). Yoo’s palette is filled with warm colors, and her block-print and line drawings fill the space without overwhelming it. The generous white space in these openings, along with the friendly type, adds to the overall feeling of invitation and encouragement. This is a pleasingly uncomplicated introduction to yoga that can also simply be read as an invitation to play.

A celebration of the ways that even young children can experience the wide world through their bodies as well as their minds. (Picture book. 2-7)

Review for Tua and the Elephant

Tua and the Elephant (written by R. P. Harris) received the very first review from Kirkus and it is starred review! How exciting!

"How do you hide an elephant? Inspired by a trip to an Asian elephant refuge, Harris transports young readers to the lands of curry, banana leaves and the bustling Chiang Mai Night Market. Little 9-year-old Tua, which means "peanut" in Thai, finds a young, but very large captured elephant. Their connection is instant. But this elephant is chained, used as tourist bait. Tua must face dangers including poachers and treacherous rivers as she steals away with the young elephant, pursued by two menacing mahouts, or elephant drivers. Naming her new friend Pohn Pohn, Tua escapes with her to a Buddhist temple, where she learns of an elephant preserve in the mountains. Will Tua be successful in getting Pohn Pohn into the preserve? For a book aimed at middle graders, kudos on three fronts: providing a child's-eye view of Thailand with foreign words to be decoded in context, creating a strong connection between the elephant and the girl and using a simple vocabulary to introduce the complex issue of poaching. Yoo's multiple illustrations, done in charcoal and linoleum block prints, catapult the story even higher. Foreign yet familiar, the action is often humorous and reinforces the sweet bond between pachyderm and "peanut." A rousing adventure that introduces the issue of elephant trafficking in a gentle and appropriate way" - Kirkus Reviews Starred Review