Happiest Tree: A Yoga Story

Happiest Tree: A Yoga Story

by Uma Krishnaswami, Ruth Jeyaveeran
     
 

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Meena is excited about the class play, a new and improved version of Red Riding Hood. But when she learns that she must play one of the trees in the forest, Meena's excitement vanishes. She is just too clumsy to be a quiet, steady tree.One day at the Indian grocery store, Meena sees a yoga class in progress, and the store owner convinces her to try the children's…  See more details below

Overview

Meena is excited about the class play, a new and improved version of Red Riding Hood. But when she learns that she must play one of the trees in the forest, Meena's excitement vanishes. She is just too clumsy to be a quiet, steady tree.One day at the Indian grocery store, Meena sees a yoga class in progress, and the store owner convinces her to try the children's class. Little does Meena know she is about to find a way to grow from the inside out, just like a tree, and move beyond her feelings of clumsiness and frustration.The Happiest Tree is a gentle and empowering story of a young girl's road to self-confidence. It is sure to spark interest in yoga, and provide comfort to all children as they struggle to overcome the everyday obstacles to growing up.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Mary Quattlebaum
Courage comes from the ability to handle fear, as young Meena learns in The Happiest Tree. In this empowering picture book, Meena worries her clumsiness will jeopardize the class play. After all, she is supposed to play a tree—graceful and stalwart. But when she signs up for a children's yoga class, Meena learns to breathe slowly and deeply, to stretch "like a rubber band" and to coordinate her arms and legs in "smooth, slow movements." With greater control comes greater calm, enabling Meena to deal with a minor mishap during the play. Bright acrylic pictures by Ruth Jeyaveeran reinforce the upbeat tone of Uma Krishnaswami's text. The book includes diagrams of six yoga postures suitable for children, giving young readers a chance, like Meena, to realize that "I can change my body by how I feel inside. If I am quiet inside, my body will be still."
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-Meena, an American girl of East Indian descent, constantly stumbles, trips, and knocks things over, causing herself terrible humiliation. As her class prepares to put on a play, she cringes. She doesn't want to participate, fearful that she will embarrass herself in front of a large audience. While shopping at the Indian grocer with her mother, she notices a yoga class in session at the back of the store. The shopkeeper, "Auntie," encourages the girl to sign up for a new children's class, and Meena hesitantly agrees. At first she is extremely awkward, but with encouragement from Auntie and practice, Meena learns to breathe more deeply and move more carefully. She survives the school play without calamity and all is well. Jeyaveeran's folksy, acrylic paintings, done in warm tones, depict children of many ethnicities. The story presents the ubiquitous problem of clumsiness with warmth and veracity. Meena's difficulties are not overcome quickly and yoga is introduced in a nonintrusive way. Krishnaswami occasionally dabs the text with Hindi words and expressions, adding a delightful Indian flavor. An excellent addition to any collection.-Be Astengo, Alachua County Library, Gainesville, FL Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Meena and her classmates decide to produce a play, and to her dismay, Meena has difficulty focusing. She spills the paints, she stumbles and trips, and when she tells her parents that she really isn't interested in performing or participating, her father assures her that she's alright. With the encouragement from her caring, patient parents, teacher and aunt, who introduces her to yoga, Meena plays the role of a tree. She must stand still, and the deep breathing she has learned in yoga calms her down. Painterly acrylic forms convey nuances of Indian culture and Meena's facial and body contortions as she learns her roles on stage and in yoga class. Krishnaswami aptly conveys the essence and impact of yoga on a child. Youngsters often struggling to keep their little bodies from wriggling, their attention from drifting, will be comforted to know that they are not unique and that something as basic as breathing and yoga incorporated into a kid's life can be a practical solution. Backmatter includes additional information about yoga and resources for children. (Picture book. 5-8)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781600603600
Publisher:
Lee & Low Books, Inc.
Publication date:
08/01/2008
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
389,243
Product dimensions:
9.80(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.10(d)
Lexile:
AD510L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

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