How Can You Dance?

Citation: Walton, R., & López-Escrivá, A. (2001). How Can You Dance? New York: Putnam’s.How Can You Dance?

Ages: 0 – 8

Grades: PreSchool – 3

Description:  With rhyming text, How Can You Dance? asks children how they move and dance, and then compares it to the movement of an animal. For example, the book asks “How can you dance as you swim in a pool? Dance like a frog, feeling fine, keeping cool.”  After each rhyming line, the book includes instructions on how to move like the animal example.

Uses:  With its rhyming text and question and answer style, this book is sure to get kids off their feet! The book can be used in storytime to get kids moving, and can be used with differently abled adults and children.

Review Sources:

Cooper, I. (2001). How Can You Dance? (Book Review). Booklist, 1897.

Jones, T.E., Toth, L., Charnizon, M., Grabarek, D., Larkins, J., & Ceraldi, G. (2001). How Can You Dance? (Book Review). School Library Journal, 47(7), 90.

Roback, D., Brown, J. M., & Britton, J. (2001). How Can You Dance? (Book Review). Publishers Weekly, 248(24),85.

Search Terms: rhyme, animals, animal movements, dance, diversity, differently-abled 

Storytime Yoga: Teaching Yoga to Children Through Story

Citation: Solis, S. (2006). Storytime Yoga: Teaching Yoga to Children Through Story (Storytime Yoga). Boulder, Colo: The Mythic Yoga Studio.Storytime Yoga

Ages: Activities: 3 and up; Book: Adults, teachers, and educators

Grades: PreK and Up

Description: Teaching Yoga to Children Through Story is a resource for librarians, teachers, and educators and others who want to incorporate yoga and health into their storytimes. The book includes retellings of different stories from around the world that include different hatha yoga meditations, movements, and exercises. The book has activities for children ages 3 – 11.

Uses: Teaching Yoga to Children Through Story is a great resource for librarians and teachers, and any adults who want to work with children. Yoga Storytime is a great method for teaching children both literacy and healthy habits. The yoga element of the story helps children move and promotes health, while oral storytelling promotes literacy, listening skills, and vocabulary. This resource can be used with a variety of ages, and in a number of programs.

Review Sources: none.

Tags: yoga, hatha yoga, diversity

Pretend You’re a Cat

Citation: Marzollo, J., & Pinkney, J. (1990). Pretend You’re a Cat. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers.  Cat

Ages: 4 – 8

Grades: PreK – 8

Description:  Pretend You’re a Cat invites readers and listeners to move like various animals: a cat, a dog, a fish, and a bee. Marzollo uses a repetitive rhyming text to invite children to move along with the story. There are also richly detailed images of children and animals doing the movements throughout the story.

Uses: Pretend You’re a Cat is ideal for a family or young child storytime. The story can be read out loud, and children can participate along with the story.  The images in this story will also draw in listeners with the vibrant images.

Review Sources:

Dibner, E. (1990). Pretend You’re a Cat (Book). School Library Journal 36(7), 63.

Fader, E. (1990). Pretend You’re a Cat. Horn Book Magazine, 66(4), 446-447.

Tags: animals, animal movements, rhyme, diversity, differently-abled

Children’s Book of Yoga: Games & Exercises Mimic Plants & Animals & Objects

Citation: Luby, T. (1998). Children’s book of yoga: games & exercises mimic plants & animals & objects. Santa Fe, N.M.: Clear Light Publishers.  

Ages:  9 and up

Grades: 2 and up

Description: Children’s Book of Yoga is a non-fiction text that provides instruction to children on to how to do different yoga poses. It begins with the easiest poses, and progresses through others, all centered around different plants, animals, and objects. The book also includes information as to the benefits of yoga, and important things to remember and consider when practicing yoga. Yoga topics covered in the different chapters include: breathing and relaxing, mountain pose, poses that resemble all kinds of birds, four-legged animals,  and desert creatures.

Uses:  The Children’s Book of Yoga can be used by teachers and librarians during yoga or activity specific programming. Teachers and librarians can pull activities from the different chapters into their storytime programs, in order to teach children different ways to be active. These activities can be used instead of traditional fingerplays or songs used to get students to shake out their wiggles. This book would also make an ideal display companion, as it teaches children yoga in a way that they can understand and practice on their own.

Review Sources: Lawler, B. (1998). Children’s Book of Yoga: Games & Exercises Mimic Plants & Animals & Objects. School Library Journal, 44(10):125.

Tags: yoga, animals, diversity, differently-abled 

The Happiest Tree: A Yoga Story

Citation: Krishnaswami, Uma. (2005). The Happiest Tree: A Yoga Story. New York: Lee and Low. Happiest Tree

Ages: 0 – 9

Grades: PreK – 4

Description: The Happiest Tree: A Yoga Story is the story of Meena and her role in the school play. Meena is an eight year old Asian Indian American girl who is clumsy. She trips and stumbles so much, that she is afraid to participate. One day, while in the Indian market, Meena signs up for a child’s yoga class. Through the class, and with the support of her family, Meena learns yoga poses that calm her and help her successfully play the role of a tree in the school play.  The book features warm, richly detailed images and many details from Meena’s culture are woven into the fabric of the story.  

Uses: The Happiest Tree: A Yoga Story is perfect for a young child or elementary storytime program. Not only does the story teach the benefits of yoga, but it also provides children with an encouraging lesson about overcoming challenges. The book will also introduce children to different cultures through the imagery and words in the text. Librarians and teachers can read the story to children, and then pair it with a yoga session, or perhaps another book that more directly explains yoga poses.  The Happiest Tree is an ideal companion story to a book such as Dogi the Yogi.  This text would also be perfect to use with differently-abled adults and teens.

Review Sources:

Engberg, G. (2005). The Happiest Tree: A Yoga Story. Booklist, 102(3):63.

Monahan, J. (2006). The Happiest Tree. Library Media Connection, 24(7): 62.

The Happiest Tree: A Yoga Story. (2005). Kirkus Reviews, 73(16):917.

Search Terms: yoga, differently-abled, diversity

Clap Your Hands

Citation: Cauley, L. B., Weiss, J., G.P. Putnam’s Sons, & South China Printing Co. (1992). Clap Your Hands. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons. Clap Your Hands

Ages: 0 – 8

Grades: PreK – 1

Description:  Clap Your Hands is a rhyming text that invites readers to move along with the story from cover to cover. Using rhyming words, and bright images of children and animals in colorful costumes, Cauley invites readers to clap their hands, stomp their feet, and roar like a lion.  The whole of the text in the book are commands to move.

Uses:  Clap Your Hands is the perfect addition to any toddler or preschool storytime. The rhyming text encourages children to perform simple actions, which will not only refine motor skills, but will also get them moving for the whole of the book. The bright images will also capture children’s attention. This book could also be used during baby time, with the parents doing the motion to the children/assisting children with the motion, as to encourage parent/child bonding, and to emphasize the importance of physical activity for both parent and child at an early age.

Review Sources:

Zaleski, J. (2001). Children’s NOTES. Publisher’s Weekly, 248(30):78.

Bliss, Liza. (1992). Book Reviews: Preschool & Primary Grades. School Library Journal, 38(7): 57

Kirkus Reviews. (1992). Clap Your Hands. [Review of the book Clap Your Hands]. Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved from:

Tags: rhyme, animals, diversity,

Yoga Games for Children: Fun and Fitness with Postures, Movements and Breath

Citation: Bersma, D., Visscher, M., & more, & 0. (2003). Yoga Games for Children: Fun and Fitness with Postures, Movements and Breath (1 edition.). Alameda, CA: Hunter House. Yoga Games

Ages: 3-12

Grade: 1 and up

Description: Yoga Games for Children: Fun and Fitness with Postures, Movements, and Breath is a resource for librarians, parents, and educators that provides 16 complete lessons for children about different yoga concepts. The games are broken into different focus areas such as breathing exercises, relaxation, and meditation. Within these areas are lessons with different themes, from spring, to snow, to animals, to birthday parties. Individual lessons are also coded for the appropriate age group.

Use:  Children’s librarians and library staff can use Yoga Games as a resource as they plan storytimes and other programs. Themed lessons can be incorporated into a variety of storytimes for different ages, and the themes allow for them to be used in conjunction with other books and activities on the same theme, for the creation of a fully active storytime or children’s program.  

Review Sources: none. 

Tags: yoga, educator resource, differently-abled

My Daddy is a Pretzel: Yoga for Parents and Kids

Citation: Baptiste, B., & Fatus, S. (2004). My daddy is a pretzel: yoga for parents and kids. Cambridge, MA: Barefoot Books. My Daddy is a Pretzel

Age: 4- 10

Grade: PreK – 3

Description: In this book, Baptiste introduces nine yoga poses within the context of children talking about their parents’ professions during class. As different children share their parents’ professions, such as gardener or vet, one child, whose father is a yoga instructor, describes corresponding yoga poses. Each yoga pose is broken into several steps with illustrations and instructions, as well as an explanation of the purpose behind the pose.

Use: My daddy is a pretzel is an ideal resource for teaching younger-grade children beginning yoga poses and movements, as well as the philosophy of the practice, all within an interesting fictional concept. The book would be well used in a smaller library program for K-3rd graders, where the children knew specifically that they were coming to the library for a yoga program. It could also be used in a beginner’s yoga for children, by incorporating a literacy component.

Review Sources:

Publisher’s Weekly. (2010). My Daddy Is a Pretzel: Yoga for Parents and Kids. [Review of the book My Daddy Is a Pretzel: Yoga for Parents and Kids]. Retrieved from:

Burner, Joyce Adams. (2005). My Daddy Is a Pretzel: Yoga for Parents and Kids. [Review of the book My Daddy is a Pretzel: Yoga for Parents and Kids. School Library Journal 51(1):85. Retrieved from:

Engberg, Gillian. (2004). My Daddy Is a Pretzel: Yoga for Parents and Kids. [Review of My Daddy is a Pretzel: Yoga for Parents and Kids].  BookList. Retrieved from:

TagsL : diversity, parents and children, yoga, occupations

Dancing in My Bones

Citation: Andrews, Sylvia. (2001). Dancing in My Bones. [New York]: HarperFestival. Dancing in My Bones

Ages:  0-8

Grade Level: Babies and Toddlers/Preschool

Description:  This is the story of a young girl with dancing in her bones! The book follows her and company of friends as they hip-hop, tip-top, and be-bop through a park.  The book is written in first person, which will encourage students to dance along! The book includes a note at the end of the book suggesting ways to incorporate students into the activity of the text.

Use: The first person narration as well as the active, rhyming text make this book ideal for use in programming with toddlers and preschoolers. Children can move along with the text of the book as it is read.

Review Sources:

Bair, Janet M. (2001). Dancing in my bones. [Review of the book Dancing in My Bones]. School Library Journal 47(12):88. Retrieved from:,

Segal, Marta (2001). Dancing in my bones. [Review of the book Dancing in My Bones]. Booklist. Retrieved from

Kirkus Reviews. (2010). Dancing in my bones. [Review of the book Dancing in My Bones}. Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved from:

Tags: Diversity,  differently-abled, dancing, children, outside