RACHEL’S DAY IN THE GARDEN: A KID’S YOGA SPRING COLORS BOOK
by Giselle Shardlow and illustrated by Hazel Quintanilla
When I first read through this book I was skeptical that it could hold any interest for my toddler and kindergarten aged kids. On the surface, a yoga book sounds like a great idea, but this one seemed too complicated with all the yoga poses and colors and signs of spring piled into a kids book. Shouldn’t it just focus on one thing? Admittedly, when I received the book with a request to review it I had less than high hopes for it.
Boy was I wrong!
I read Rachel’s Day in the Garden to my kids and to my astonishment they were immediately bewitched by the charming character of Rachel and her adorable dog as they demonstrated one simple yoga pose after another while exploring a garden brimming with color and life. Ah, springtime…what a lovely time to be a curious and energetic child.
And that is when the brilliance of this book hit me.
The author very cleverly combines elements of colors and cues in the environment to help kids focus as they bend and twist into simple poses. This made memorizing the poses easier and more fun. Through word association my kids were quickly remembering poses and then putting them together in different flows. My kids were excitedly flipping through pages and taking turns trying to figure out how to shape shift into a sturdy tree or a curious bird, a wiggling caterpillar, or a buzzing bee. As a parent this was quite a sight to behold; my kids cooperating, exploring movement and learning new things all while laughing and having fun.
I was impressed.
The design of the book is bright and inviting with a feeling of animation. The pictures are bright and engaging, the text is bold and large for beginning readers to follow along, and the instructions for the poses are simple and easy to follow along, even for a non yoga novice such as myself. In the back of the book is an index of poses to study more closely as well as a Parent-Teacher guide to help facilitate conversations and guide lessons.
We have had this book for a week and have read about 100 times. If you have small kids at home itching to learn new things, squirming to get their bodies moving, and curious to explore the world around them then Rachel’s Day in the Garden: A Kids Yoga Spring Colors Book by Giselle Shardlow is an excellent choice.