Yoo goes beyond downward dog to teach children yoga poses that mimic animals like a butterfly, frog, and cat. In alternating spreads, children demonstrate the steps for achieving each pose (“Lie on your stomach/ Hands next to shoulders/ Push up!”) while the intervening spreads show the children in the position in natural settings alongside the animal or object they are emulating (“You are a... snake/ In the cool grass/ Slither and glide/ Make a big hiss”). The final spreads lead to a simmer-down in the bright sun: “Lie down and be still/ Slowly breathe in the garden/ Relax in the silence/ Namaste to each other.” Yoo gracefully merges the spirit of yoga with children’s intuitive sense of play. Ages 3–5. Agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (Mar.)
"Inviting demonstration of seven safe, relatively easy poses."
From the Publisher
"Yoo gracefully merges the spirit of yoga with children's intuitive sense of play." — Publishers Weekly
"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." — Kirkus Reviews
"Extremely basic and appropriate for young children; the illustrations will encourage participation and some rambunctiousness. . . . Could be used to corral the energy of a rowdy group or an individual child. . . . A good choice for introducing yoga." — School Library Journal
"Inviting demonstration of seven safe, relatively easy poses." — Booklist
Children's Literature - Sharon Oliver
This peaceful introduction to basic yoga poses is a nice beginning for very young children. It opens in a sun filled garden where six children have gathered to say "Namaste to the morning." Each child demonstrates a yoga pose on a two-page spread with a generous amount of white space. Each following two-page spread is a fully illustrated depiction of the child and the yoga-appropriate animal. For instance, for lion pose, readers are instructed, "Sit on your heels/hands on your knees/tongue out! You are a..." The next spread shows the child in lion pose with a lion alongside and set in a lush jungle background. "King of the jungle/Roaring so loud/Make the woods rumble." The seven basic poses shown are ideal for introducing children to yoga. Yoo's block print illustrations are very naturalistic with shades of green, orange and yellow dominating. For the last pose, all six children stand reaching for the sky in mountain pose before relaxing in the garden, "Namaste to each other." This is a charming book with a purpose and a good addition to most library collections. Reviewer: Sharon Oliver
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
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)
…You Are a Lion! provides clear and inspirational guidelines. In kiddie-yoga programs, positions are scrubbed of their Sanskrit names and reduced to amiable metaphors, mostly animal. Yoo wisely follows this tradition, making the contorted postures remarkably child-friendly.
The New York Times