Always Be Dancing

Yoga and Flamenco for Every/body & Mindful Book Reviews By Eve


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Mindful Book Reviews By Eve: Stay Cool at School* by Lori Lite

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Mindful Book Reviews By Eve: Stay Cool at School by Lori Lite*; Illustrated by Richard Watson

I love how mindfulness in schools is becoming the norm and that more and more teachers and school districts are interested in bringing mindfulness and self-help strategies into their school communities. In my opinion, the younger we can start this the better, as empowering our young children with strategies to deal with big emotions, can only be a win-win for the children themselves and the greater community at large.

Lori Lite is in the top of the tier of people offering easily accessible ways to bring mindfulness into the classroom. Her most recent book Stay Cool at School is an adorable and extremely important book for teachers of young children (ages 3-9) who want to help their students identify big emotions and offer them tools to cope. Since coping is a practice, the more this is encourages, the more likely the students will be able to access their wisdom at times of high emotions.

In the story, the two adorable dream monkeys, Jumpy & Sunny help the young child in the story to identify the big emotions experienced, from anger to over-excitement to embarrassment and joy. In each instance, they offer up various breathing strategies that anyone can do, without anyone else even noticing, to increase a sense of calm, self-control and to encourage a positive outlook. 

The illustrations are very cute and I love the fun color palette. The scenarios and emotions are well articulated and this book can be enjoyed over and over again.

I highly recommend this book to families and school communities alike. Libraries should have a section for mindfulness books specifically aimed at children. I know I am going to embrace this book and share it with the children I have the opportunity to work with through my children’s yoga program. Its fun and engaging nature make it an easy fit as a gateway into mindfulness for young children.

*A special note: Stay Cool at School is only available through Scholastic Book Clubs. Contact your child’s teacher for their order/login with the teacher’s information to their club and/or their 5 digit class code. More information here http://bit.ly/LLStayCool

For more information about Always Be Dancing: Yoga & Flamenco for Every/Body, my mindfulness/yoga/dance program, please visit: alwaysbedancing(dot)wordpress(dot)com.

¡Olé Namaste! Eve Costarelli

Thank you to Lori Lite for sending me a copy of this book. All opinions stated are my own.

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Mindful Book reviews By Eve: A Therapeutic Treasure Box for Working With Children and Adolescents with Developmental Trauma by Dr. Karen Treisman

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A Therapeutic Treasure Box for Working With Children and Adolescents with Developmental Trauma by Dr. Karen Treisman

This book is fabulous. It is an eye-opening approach to engaging children who suffer from developmental trauma through art activities but can be applied to the general population of children, as I believe that any gateway you can find that allows a child to express and release is a sure fire win! The book is stuffed full of applied practices that are easily adapted to classroom work, yoga/mindfulness programming and for anyone who works with children who wants to engage them outside the box. This book is so creative and well thought out and its myriad of applied practices provide a solid foundation for understanding, assessing, and helping children cope with developmental trauma. I am a yoga and mindfulness teacher and the ease at which I can locate and adapt the tools in this book make it 100% accessible for the as well as mental health practitioners, as the book is full of the most up-to-date clinical information too. This book is a must have for everyone who works with children, not just those who are traumatized, as we can reach out with creativity and compassion to all children to help them release what is hidden inside so they can move forward and thrive. I highly recommend this book. It’s sitting right on my work table along with Dr. Treisman’s  Therapeutic Treasure Deck of Sentence Completion and Feelings (please check out my review). This is a dynamic duo of highly accessible, especially for the non-professional, creative, socio-emotional learning techniques and activities for children. They have become indispensable to me.

I’m looking forward to reviewing her latest “Therapeutic Treasure Deck of Grounding, Soothing, Coping and Regulating Cards” 

¡Olé Namaste! Eve Costarelli

Thank you to Jessica Kingsley Publishing for sending me a copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

 

 


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Mindful Book Reviews By Eve: The Healthy Coping Colouring Book And Journal: Creative Activities to Help Manage Stress, Anxiety and Other Big Feelings by Pooky Knightsmith + Emily Hamilton

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I absolutely love this book. It This fun book about “me” full of coloring pages and journal prompts for mid-graders had me feeling good from the very first page. I felt compelled to jump right in and start coloring and answering the questions, digging deeper into me. The activities are very well thought out and have a great flow throughout the book. There are structured activities to follow plus lots of open-ended contemplations, perfect for deep thought and perfect to tie into a yoga program. It is very creative and cute but not cutesy. It’s a serious book presented in a highly engaging manner and so accessible for mid-graders though adults to enjoy. This book would make a great gift idea; tie it in with a nice set of colored pencils for the budding teen in your life!

I highly recommend it!

¡Olé Namaste! Eve Costarelli

Thank you to Jessica Kingsley Publishing for sending me a copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.


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Mindful Book Reviews By Eve: Angry Octopus: A Relaxation Story by Lori Lite

Angry Octopus: A Relaxation Story by Lori Lite

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This is a very well-crafted relaxation story that takes you, step-by-step, through active progressive muscular relaxation meditation.  The story pays special attention to bringing attention to feelings and sensations and it highlights important concepts such as self-reflection, body awareness and cooperation. This is a great book to read aloud to your own children as well as any children you have the opportunity to read to! It makes a great addition to a yoga class or a bedtime ritual and school teachers could use it to help their students relax. The sea creatures are adorable and I love the brightly colored palette and the blurred background lends to the feeling of being under the sea. This book pairs perfectly with Angry Octopus: Color Me Happy, Color Me Calm by Lori Lite (see my review here). Together, they pack a power punch and are great books to help children to enjoy being calm and aware.

 


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Mindful Book Reviews By Eve: I Have My Baby, My Baby Has Me by Josh Mortensen

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Mindful Book Reviews By Eve: I Have My Baby, My Baby Has Me by Josh Mortensen; Art by Carol Gisler

Right off the bat, I was taken with the beautiful watercolors. The artist, Carol Gisler, pays incredible attention to the details of the natural world with her color palette, brushwork and loving touch and the over-palette of blue and green is extremely  soothing and relaxing. The written prose flow effortlessly and are very inventive. I love the choice of words and how they play with each other, creating soft, sing-song poetry as you read aloud. Your child will be enchanted by the beautiful words and the gorgeous illustrations.

Congratulations! This is a lovely book! I highly recommend it. I just included it in my latest blog post: 19 Books About Mindfulness for Kids, 2 Activity Books and a Deck of Cards, too. (http (colon slash slash) bit (dot) ly/2HXKKxB)

Thank you to Magpie Children’s Books for sending me a copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

 


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19 Books About Mindfulness for Kids, 2 Activity Books and a Deck of Cards, too


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Mindful Book Reviews By Eve: A Therapeutic Treasure Deck of Sentence Completion and Feelings Cards by Dr. Karen Treisman

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These cards are so engaging and fun and so very useful! I have been using them all month during my “I Am…” unit in my youth yoga and mindfulness classes. The pictures are easily associated with the sentence completion and feeling cards and are great visual cues, making the deck usable with the very young as well as those with special needs. The accompanying booklet is great and offers practical usages for the cards that also allow for a lot of creativity.

The other day in my yoga class (the kids run in age from 5-18), we first went through all the feelings cards and the kids offered up some of their own. I then handed out the more difficult, stronger feelings cards and each child pantomimed the feeling while the rest of the class guessed at what it was. We then played a game of opposites and each child chose a yoga pose that made them feel the opposite of their feeling card (i.e. hurt: choose a pose that makes you feel safe; surprised: choose a yoga pose that makes you feel calm…). We of course played this round robin, so every few minutes I signaled that is was time to switch mats and so round we went making up roughly 20 poses each that helped us to feel safe, calm and in-control of our feelings. To top it off, I set my phones alarm to gently ring every 11 minutes and when it did ring, we all had to stop everything we were doing and do a 5-finger breathing exercises. There was so much fun and play between the laughter and the silence throughout the class. Namaste!!

I highly recommend this deck as an aide for therapy as well as for yoga teachers, classrooms, homes…they are great conversation starters! These cards are excellent for opening up communication all about “I Am….”

Thank you to JK Publishing for sending me this deck. All opinions expressed are my own.