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

How Do You Wokka-Wokka?

Citation: Bluemle, E. (2009). How Do You Wokka-Wokka? Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press.

Ages: 3 – 7

Grades: PreK – 2nd

Description: How Do You Wokka-Wokka? encourages readers to get moving and learn how to wokka along to the beat of the text through rhymes and images. Readers are invited to join the characters in the book for a neighborhood dance party. 

Uses: How Do You Wokka-Wokka?’s rhyming text and vibrant images make it perfect for a toddler or elementary storytime. This book can be used in a program about dance, and librarians/teachers can invite children to dance like the characters in the book while the book is being read, or when it is finished.

Review Sources:

Kirkus Reviews. (2009). How do you Wokka-Wokka? (Book Review). 

Publisher’s Weekly. (2009). How do you Wokka-Wokka? (Book Review). 

Tags: dance, rhyme, diversity

Toddler Play (Gymboree)

Citation: Masi, Wendy. (2001). Toddler Play (Gymboree). New York, NY: Creative Publishing International.

Ages: Adults and their toddlers

Grades: n/a

Description: Toddler Play (Gymboree) is a book for parents and other adults who are interested in incorporating fun activities for quality play time. The book covers age-appropriate playtime activities, including active physical games for strengthening growing muscles. 

Uses: Masi’s text can be used by parents, librarians, and teachers as they plan fun play activities for toddlers.  The book can also be put on display in a library as a resources for adults with growing children.

Review Sources:

Broocker, Deborah. (2004). Itsy Bitsy Yoga: Poses To Help Your Baby Sleep Longer, Digest Better, and Grow Stronger (Book). Library Journal, (129)(7):116.

Tags: exercise, parents and children, diversity, differently-abled

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

Move Your Body! My Exercise Tips

CitationBellisario, G. (2014). Move Your Body!: My Exercise Tips. New York, NY: Lerner Publishing Group.

Ages: 5 – 7

Grades: PreK – 3rd

Description: In preparation for Field Day, Ms. Starr teaches her students about aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Ms. Starr also teaches them some stretching exercises to prepare for the big day! Now their full of energy and ready for the beach ball relay!

Uses: Move Your Body!: My Exercise Tips is a great resource for librarians and teachers, and any adult who wants to teach children about exercise. This cook can be used to lead students through aerobic and anaerobic exercises during storytime. The colorful illustrations can be used to engage students in these fun interactive exercises that promote health.

Review Sources: none.

Tags: exercise, health, diversity

Shai & Emmie Star in Dancy Pants!

Citation: Wallis, Q. (2018). Shai & Emmie Star in Dancy Pants! New York, NY: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

Ages: 6 – 10

Grades: 1 – 5th

Description: In Shai & Emmie Star in Dancy Pants! Shai is a third-grader who loves to act, sing, and dance. When her teacher, Ms. Englert, signs their class up for a dance competition, Shai teams up with her best friend Emmie and classmate Rio. Shai initially plans to calm her competition jitters by just having fun. Until her rival, Gabby Supreme, challenges her to a bet. Now Shai has to win.

UsesThe book can be used for a storytime or program to get kids moving. Librarians/teachers can read the story and ask students to improvise the dances performed by characters in the story. Students can perform the “video game” or “crayon” dance.

Review Sources: none.

Tags: dance, diversity

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