Saturday, November 27, 2021

Review - Dino Yoga

Dino Yoga

by Lorena Pajalunga
illustrated by Anna Láng
Date: 2021
Publisher: Happy Fox Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book non-fiction
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: library

Dino Yoga is a fun and colorful guide that teaches young children how to do yoga with easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions that explain how to perform basic yoga poses. With each yoga position is also a kid-friendly tip on how to better handle their emotions and personalities, including how to relax, how to focus, how to be calmer, and more.

Join Master Diplo and his students, Rex, Raptor, Trixie, and Dactyla, as they guide kids step-by-step through a variety of yoga poses and meditative exercises, including Tree Pose, Peaceful Warrior Pose, Plank Pose, Camel Pose, and more. These practices will help kids connect with themselves, calm their minds, and feel great! See how yoga helps each young dinosaur understand and manage the different emotions they experience, from anger and the inability to focus to overactivity and anxiety. Each pose builds onto the next so children can easily move through a yoga sequence before it closes with a meditative practice to complete the flow. These actions help children manage their emotions in a healthy and mindful way.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This is a great idea for a non-fiction picture book. Unfortunately, it commits one of the biggest sins when it comes to teaching a new skill to young readers: It's confusing.

The book starts by introducing us to four young dinosaurs, each with a quirk that gives them a bit of trouble. Rex has anger issues, for example. And Trixie sometimes loses focus. So they could all benefit from yoga, right?

The illustrations are adorable, colourful, and very appealing, which makes the book all the more frustrating when it comes to the actual instructions. I'm an adult, and while I'm no expert, I've taken a few yoga classes. So I should be able to follow directions like this. But some of the instructions aren't clear. Even worse, sometimes the instructions don't match the illustrations! In one spot, the order of the movements is different in the text and pictures. In another spot, the text refers to the right while the illustration shows the left.

And that might not be such a problem if these didn't seem like very advanced poses. Frustration over not being able to figure out what the book is talking about added to the frustration of falling over while trying to execute some of these movements doesn't seem like an activity conducive to calm. (Take, for example, the Sitting Hand Over Toe Pose. Basically, you stand on your right leg with your right arm in the air, grab the toes of your left leg with the other hand while extending the leg out in front of you, then lower yourself so your butt is resting on your right heel... and then somehow stand back up, all without losing your balance. I can't even accomplish that one in my imagination!)

This might be okay for kids whose parents are yogis themselves and can explain how to do the poses (including the Mountain Pose, which was mentioned but never properly explained). But I'm afraid this could cause quite a bit of frustration for those who are new to yoga. And that kind of defeats the purpose of the book.

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 2/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2.67 out of 5

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