Just Breathe: Meditation, Mindfulness, Movement, and More

Citation: Chopra, Mallika. (2018). Just breathe: meditation, mindfulness, movement, and more. Philadelphia: RP Kids.

Ages: 8-12

Grades: 3 – 7

Description: Just Breathe is a great guide for young adults to use for meditation, yoga, movement, and other mindfulness exercises. This book is full of exercises for beginners and more experienced youth looking for advice on managing stress, building self-confidence, and reducing anxiety.   The images reflect the movements described in the text.

Uses:  Chopra’s text could be used by teachers, and librarians during a young adult program. The book can be read aloud, while readers try some of the exercises described and demonstrated through out the book. This text would also be useful in a program with parents/guardians and their children, where they can do the exercises and movements together.

Review Sources: none.

Tags: exercise, yoga, meditation, diversity, differently-abled

Cock-a-Doodle-Doo! Barnyard Hullabaloo

Citation: Andreae, G. (2004). Cock-a-Doodle-Doo! Barnyard Hullabaloo. Wilton, CT: Tiger Tales. 

Ages: 5-6

Grades: PreK – 1st 

Description:  In Cock-a-Doodle-Doo! Barnyard Hullabaloo bright images of animals on a farm are accompanied with rhyming text and descriptions of the actions being performed by each animal. Readers are invited to “gooble gobble” with a turkey or “skip skip” with a sheep. 

Uses: Librarians, teachers, and other adults can use Andreae’s Cock-a-Doodle-Doo! Barnyard Hullabaloo in a storytime programs for elementary readers. The rhyming text will automatically engage readers and listeners, and librarians can get children moving by encouraging them to mimic the movement of the particular animal after each page is read. The book can also be used to teach readers about different types of animals, and to teach simple movement concepts to children within the context of a storytime based on animals, farm animals, or any related topic.  

Review Sources: None found.

Search Terms:  animals, animal movements, rhyme

Hop, Hop, Jump!

Citation: Thompson, L. (2012). Hop, hop, jump! New York, NY: Margaret K. McElderry Books.

Age: 3 – 8

Grades: PreK-3rd 

Description:  Hop, Hop, and Jump!, with its bright illustrations and rhythmic text, is sure to get kids up and moving. Each page features children demonstrating different activities, such as jumping, twisting, hopping, and waggling. Thompson’s text also emphasizes each body part used to carry out each movement. 

Uses:  Hop, Hop, Jump! is a perfect text for use with toddlers and elementary students during storytime.  The bright colors and rhyming text will capture children’s attention. Children can be encouraged to move along with the characters, and identify the body parts the characters in the story are moving. 

Review Sources: None found

Tags: exercise, diversity, rhyme

Ballet Cat: The Totally Secret Secret

Citation: Shea, Bob. (2015). Ballet Cat: The Totally Secret Secret. New York: Disney-Hyperion Ballet Cat

Ages: 5 – 9

Grades: Kindergarten – 3

Description:  Ballet Cat: The Totally Secret Secret is a beginning chapter book for early readers that tells the story of two best friends: Ballet Cat and Sparkles the Pony.  One day, Ballet Cat and Sparkles the Pony are trying to find something to do. Sparkles suggests a number of activities such as selling lemonade, playing checkers or making crafts. Ballet Cat originally agrees to all of these activities, but changes her mind, in favor of ballet – the same thing they do everyday.  Sparkles agrees, but is obviously not happy about going through the ballet motions as they play. Ballet Cat notices that Sparkles is not happy, and Sparkles eventually tells her that he does not always like to play ballet. The friends learn the importance of being honest that that it’s okay to disagree.

Uses: Ballet Cat: The Totally Secret Secret is an early chapter book for young readers. While the story could be read during storytime, it is most suited for reading with a small group of early elementary students; perhaps a 2nd grade book club.  The students and librarians can read through the book, and discuss the importance of being an individual, and that it is okay to like different things. Librarians can use this book and discussion as a catalyst for each student to demonstrate and show their favorite activity, and for the whole group to join along. Each student can teach the group their favorite activity: ballet, jumping, running, etc, for a movement filled young book club.

Review Sources:

Burg, R. (2015). Ballet Cat: The Totally Secret Secret. School Library Journal, 61(5), 94.

The Totally Secret Secret. (2015). Kirkus Reviews, 83(6), 201.

Tags:  animals, book-club books, ballet, friendship