By Lyda Whiting
CREATING A MAGICAL GARDEN AND HEALING POND (CD)
A soothing guided journey to inner peace
By Charlotte Reznick, Ph.D.
This soothing CD is a perfect introduction to meditation for children and adults alike. Created by a licensed Educational Psychologist who has been working with children for 27 years, this is a relaxing trip that children and adults will enjoy taking together.
The first two tracks are a calming introduction to conscious breathing, and a gentle muscle relaxation exercise. The third track is a delightful color meditation which guides you to visualize a rainbow and fill your body with the light.
Experienced adults will recognize the colors and locations of the chakras in this meditation, but children will simply experience the healing properties of each color for themselves. The fourth track gently guides you to create a magical garden and healing pond.
Everyone will discover the power of their imagination and enjoy the inner peace this visualization brings. The first four tracks provide about thirty minutes of meditation. The final track continues with ten minutes of relaxing music only.
Dr. Reznick has a soft warm voice which is perfect for leading you through the guided meditations; children will feel as if a loving friend is inviting them to meditate. The gentle instrumental background music, from Astral Journeys by Mark Provost, is well suited for meditation.
This is an excellent CD to use before a nap or bedtime, and can help a child drift off into sleep. It would also be great to use when a child is sick or agitated, as it is calming and healing. Teachers and families could use this CD for a group quiet time. This would also be an excellent CD for an adult beginning a meditation practice or recovering from an illness. Highly recommended for all ages.
Produced by Imagery For Kids, this CD is available at website: www.imageryforkids.com
WAI LANA’S LITTLE YOGIS FUN SONGS CD AND LYRICS BOOK
This colorful book and CD set includes twelve songs that will have children singing and moving along to the bouncey rhythms and catchy lyrics. Children will be having fun while learning simple safe breathing and relaxation exercises and practicing simple yoga moves.
Children will bounce, giggle and move through a lively adventure that has them becoming a cat, a dog, and a cobra. They will roar like a lion, build a bridge with their body, and rock on their backs like a tuck beetle. The journey takes children through the jungle, the mountains, and the beach as they move to the music.
The first ten songs are bouncy and silly, while the last two songs are relaxing and calm, encouraging peaceful visualization and rest. Fans of Wai Lana, the popular host of the PBS series Wai Lana Yoga, will recognize some of these songs from her other Little Yogi videos and CDs. Her distinctive voice sings each song and invites children to join in the movements.
The songs are fun to listen to even without moving along. The book has all of the words, encouraging young readers to follow along, while younger children will enjoy the bright illustrations of smiling caterpillars and colorful animals. Recommended for children 6 and under.
Produced by Wai Lana Productions, this book and CD set is available at your local bookstore or www.wailana.com
VEGETABLE SOUP / THE FRUIT BOWL
Written by Dianne Warren and Susan Smith Jones, Illustrated by Amy Sorvaag Lindman
These two silly stories make a fun colorful two-in-one book for young children. In the first book, kids explore a nutritious ABC of vegetables. Children are introduced to glorious garlic and wonderful watercress with rhyming verse that talks about the healthy benefits of each vegetable. The cheerful vegetables and lively animals in the vibrant illustrations are sure to capture a child’s imagination and stimulate their appetite for vegetables both raw and cooked. And of course, when put together with water, you get vegetable soup!
By flipping the book upside down, children can read about a contest among the fruit. The brightly colored apples make a winning team, and of course the bananas come in a bunch for the competition. The funny pictures show the fruit vying for honors, with the rhyming verse explaining how and when to enjoy each fruit. The happy fruit are all delicious and important for good health; in the end, they all are winners.
There is a section in the middle of the book for children to write in their own favorite fruits and vegetables. This may lead to children drawing pictures of their favorite fruits and vegetables, as wells.
Both stories are fun and lively, but the nutritional message will come through as children learn “we are what we eat,” encouraging them to eat a variety of vegetables and fruit each day. This would be a great book to bring along on shopping trips. Young children can match the pictures in the book to the real thing and help pick out their favorites to take home. Recommended for children age 8 and below.
Published by Oasis Publications, this book is available at your local bookstore.
THE KIDS’ CATALOG OF ANIMALS AND THE EARTH
Written and Illustrated by Chaya M. Burstein
This unique book is filled with stories, illustrations, and pictures of animals and the earth that will captivate children. Written from a Jewish perspective, the story is a conversation between two children and the Earth itself, and includes historical information as well as legends and stories from Jewish tradition. The engaging text and fanciful cartoons are balanced by realistic illustrations and actual photographs of animals, locations, and people.
Throughout the book are eco-friendly activities and ideas for children on how they can make a difference in the earth’s future. The book deals with issues such as global warming and pollution with a realistic but child-friendly approach, and the overall tone is one of optimism and hope for the future. The emphasis is on humans acting as caretakers of the earth, and creating an environment in which all life can flourish.
There is an interesting section on animals in the land of Israel which includes how each is mentioned in Jewish stories and tradition. There is even a fun section on monsters and legendary creatures from Bible and Talmud stories, which will delight every child.
The stories, facts and activities are mixed throughout the book, making reading it a treasure hunt for interesting things to learn and do. Recommended for children and young teens.
Published by The Jewish Publication Society, this book is available at
your local bookstore.
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