KID’S Reviews:
VIDEO, BOOKS, CDs
By Lyda Whiting

 

 

VIDEO:

Wai Lana’s
Little Yogi’s Video
and Wai Lana’s
Little Yogi’s Kit

Wai Lana, host of the long running PBS series Wai Lana Yoga, and star of a dozen popular yoga videos, has made a yoga video especially for children ages 3 to 8. The video features Wai Lana and a group of kids of different ages pretending to be cobras, butterflies, and other animals and objects as they work through a series of beginning yoga poses. This video is a great way to get started with yoga.

Young children will enjoy Wai Lana’s playful suggestions of sounds to make with each pose; roaring in the lion pose will be a favorite. Kids will enjoy the exercises, and the bouncy yoga dance at the end of the video, while improving balance, coordination, strength, and flexibility. Yoga has been proven to have a calming effect on children, and reduces stress, so while they play, kids will be discovering the benefits of yoga.

The video includes a short song animated with cartoons before each exercise, and each exercise is presented at a slow and gentle pace. The video is sixty-minutes long, but can easily be stopped after any exercise and continued later. For children with a shorter attention span, the exercises can be stretched over several days, or even a week for the youngest children.

Despite the fun approach, Wai Lana careful and expertly presents each exercise so that children learn to do it the correct way. The children in the video do the poses with varying degrees of skill, which keeps the exercises from seeming too hard while still presenting good examples of how to do each pose.

This is a great family video, as adults can attempt the poses along with the children. Those new to yoga will find the exercises challenging but not so hard that they give up. Older children may find the cartoons and music too cloying, but will not be able to resist trying to show up their younger siblings and parents. (For those who only have children ages 10 and above, Wai Lana’s beginning yoga video would be a better choice.)  Preschool and kindergarten teachers will love this video too — what a great way to get the wiggles out on a rainy day!

The complete kit includes the video, a kid-size yogi mat, a colorful poster with the 21 yoga exercises illustrated and explained, and a plastic tote that holds it all. The mat is big enough to be practical, and the poster is useful when you cannot play the video, or if you just want to practice some of the poses. Highly recommended for ages 3-8.
Distributed by Gold Moon Productions. See Wai Lana’s website at www.wailana.com  for more information.

 

BOOKS:

The Errant Knight
By Ann Tompert
Illustrations By Doug Keith
This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of a knight who is chosen to serve his king. On his way to the castle, the knight strays from his path again and again to help those in need. Despite the passing years, he never stops trying to get to the king’s castle. When he finally arrives, it is up to the king to decide whether this is an errant knight who has wasted years wandering, or a knight who has served the king well by helping the people.

The story is told with grace and simplicity, and the illustrations capture the spirit of the tale perfectly. The pictures and the adventure will entrance young children. The obstacles to the knight’s quest will captivate older children. The struggle of the knight as he chooses again and again whether to follow his heart or serve his king, will intrigue early teens. This is a book that transcends age groups.
Published by Illumination Arts Publishing, this book is available at your local bookstores.
 

How Mother Nature
Flowered the Fields of Earth and Mars
By Tom Schwartz
Illustrated by Debbie Schwartz-Der
This trilogy of Mother Nature stories is a fun way to help children understand the role of humans in taking care of the earth. As each character helps Mother Nature, children will see the importance of each creature in the balance of nature. They will learn that one’s actions affect everyone, and that teamwork is essential to keeping the earth healthy.

 The likeable and entertaining characters tie the books together. The first book, “How Mother Nature Flowered The Fields of The Earth,” is a series of adventurous tales of bees, beavers, and earthworms working with Mother Nature to flower all the fields of earth. The second book, “How Mother Nature Saved the Flowering Fields of Earth,” deals with the problems of human pollution and how to teach people to protect the environment. The last story, “How Mother Nature Flowered the Fields of Mars,” tells a futuristic tale of the exploration of Mars and of how Mars is made habitable with the help of Mother Nature and her team.

The characters are appealing, and their struggles to work together to create a healthy living environment will complement what children are learning in school and at home about environmental issues. While the stories are charmingly fictional, the facts about the contributions of the creatures are accurate.

Children ages 8 and up will be able to read this trilogy on their own, and the books can be read out loud to younger children. This trilogy will spark some lively discussions of how those living on the earth work together to create a healthy planet, and how children can help.
Published by Battiston Publishing, please see the website: www.britishseagullshop.com  .


What Is? Book Series
By Etan Boritzer
The four books in this series dealing with life concepts, by best-selling children’s author Etan Boritzer, assist children with the issues of life in a gentle and life-affirming way. The books promote diversity and tolerance with their multicultural approach.

The newest book in the series, “What Is Beautiful?,” is a guide to seeing the beauty all around us, in unexpected places, and within ourselves. Children will love reading this book as they learn a larger concept of beauty. The colorful and friendly illustrations by Nancy Forrest complement the story perfectly, and even young children will be fascinated by the ideas presented. Published by Veronica Lane Books.

“What Is God?” is the first book of the series, which presents some of the different world concepts of God and religion. The book encourages children to explore their own beliefs and connection to God, while seeing the similarities in religious beliefs and the connection we all share. Delightful illustrations by Robbie Marantz pick up on many subtleties of the text, and will appeal to children of all ages. Published by Firefly Books.

“What Is Love?” describes love as a “big inside rainbow feeling” and encourages children to try and feel that feeling for people and things that are different from what they know and understand. It gently shows the ways that all people are the same, as illustrated by Robbie Marantz’ charming and unusual drawings. Children will learn tolerance, and see that they can help spread love through the world. Published by Veronica Lane Books.

“What Is Death?” deals gently with a very complex and difficult subject. The book explains different religious concepts of death and the soul, while letting each child think about it in their own way. The lovely illustrations by Nancy Forrest gently illuminate the text and draw the reader on. Published by Veronica Lane Books.

These books will spark many discussions on the big questions, and will help children understand that there are many different answers.
Recommended for all ages. All books are available at your local bookstore.  

 

MUSIC:

Positive Songs for Children
By Lynn B. Oliver
These upbeat songs encourage children to see themselves as capable of anything. The happy tunes have lyrics that help children have fun and feel good about themselves. Sung by children, the songs include “I’m a Super Kid,” “Looking at Love,” and “I Have Everything.”  This cheerful CD helps children understand and celebrate their own special beauty. The accompanying booklet contains the lyrics so everyone can sing along.
Produced by Kid Fantasy Productions, Inc., please see website: www.kidfantasy.com . This CD is recommended for young children through pre-school.


I Came from Joy!
Inspirational Music for
Children and Adults
Composed By Donald Walters
Performed By The Joy Singers
The songs on this CD are a delightful blend of infectious melody and thoughtful lyrics that encourage children to join in. The uplifting words emphasize the unity of all life, that are connected through joy. Songs include “All the World is My Friend,” “Hello There Brother Bluebell,” and “Invocation to the Woodland Devas.”

This CD incorporates many different spiritual concepts, mentioning God, Mother, and Father in different songs. With songs sung by male and female voices, this is a great CD to gently reinforce universal spiritual ideas. Children will enjoy singing along, and the accompanying booklet has all of the lyrics.
Produced by Clarity Sound and Light, please see website: www.claritysound.com . Recommended for pre-school children.  

 




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