The Yoga Game: Kathy Beliveau & Farida Zamen (Simply Read Books, 2012)
I don’t know a lot about yoga personally, but I know a lot of people swear by it and this book appears to be a good introduction to yoga for children.
The poses are illustrated with children from all genders and nationalities, so this book scores well from an able-bodied inclusivity viewpoint. I think it would be really useful alongside some yoga sessions, but I’m going to review it from a never-done-yoga viewpoint and it scores well there too!
The book is a game. Each pose starts as a puzzle, told in rhyme. “I flit and flutter everywhere, happy, free, as light as air.” The book works well as a guessing game, using the text and teaser pictures on one page to guess the name of the pose (butterfly, tree, eagle etc) revealed on the next. Because of this, you can dip in and out of the book, try the different ‘who am I?’ games, test out the poses and generally have fun.
The font used is an easy to read font, so this book could be tackled by primary children on their own. Actually, I think it would be really good to give to teams of children and have them try to solve the puzzles and then test out the poses. Lots of learning potential – literacy, problem solving, physical activity.
Even as someone with little interest in yoga, I think this is a great book to fire up young children’s imaginations and introduce them to something new. MG and DG liked playing the games, but didn’t want to try the poses, and it works well both ways. The illustrations are clear and informative for copying poses, and full of fun and interest. This would be a great book for EYFS, KS1 and KS2 providers, as well as for home.
Available from all good bookshops, and online, RRP £8.99. 42 packed and informative pages.
Yoga Pretzels Card Deck: Leah Kalish, Tara Guber & Sophie Fatus (Barefoot Books, 2005)
If you’re more interested in yoga, these cards from Barefoot Books would be a great addition to The Yoga Game. This is a set of oversized, wipe-clean (sticky fingers!) cards with the poses drawn on one side and instructions on the reverse. There are 50 poses cards in the pack, plus a guide, which are all housed in a strong cardboard case.
Again, useful for games at home and school, children can pick out a few cards at random and work through the poses. There’s also scope for more research about yoga for older children to look into. And, of course, it’s a great addition for any family who do yoga classes!
Usually £9.99 from Barefoot Books, Yoga Pretzels Card Pack is currently on sale for £8.49 until the end of January 2014. Don’t forget an additional 20% off with discount code FIRST2014 (valid until end March 2014), making the pack only £6.79 for a limited time. There are also other yoga products at Barefoot Books.
Disclosure: We were sent The Yoga Game by Simply Read Books to review. Barefoot Books links are affiliate links.