Always Be Dancing

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


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Mindful Book Reviews By Eve: Mateo Finds His Wow A Story Of Wonder And Gratitude by Gabi Garcia

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Mateo Finds His Wow A Story Of Wonder And Gratitude by Gabi Garcia (Illustrations by Charity Russell; Skinned Knee Pub.) 

Gabi Garcia has done it again! Mateo Finds His Wow is a beautifully worded and illustrated story about a child in a funk who, through simple mindful attention, discovers the “wow-ness” of life in the moment. Ms. Garcia’s books fill an important niche in children’s mindfulness books as her books are so well crafted and sincere that they fit the needs of both adult’s and children’s connection to the stories.

This book packs a ton of wow! Be prepared to be positively changed by this wonderful book of awareness, curiosity and the amazement of the little things in life. The book is accompanied by bright wall charts that are helpful reminders of how to find the ¡WOW! in life.

A special note about the lovely and beautifully detailed illustrations by Charity Russell. They match the story perfectly and I really love the eye catching and fun fonts. 3 Cheers!

Thank you to the author for sending me this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

For more information about me, please visit alwaysbedancing dot com

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Mindful Book Reviews By Eve: Pop-Up Shakespeare by The Reduced Shakespeare Company: Reed Martin & Austin Tichenor

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I love pop up books especially ones that take a heavy topic and break it down into little bites, making so it is much easier to ingest. Here we have the complete works of Shakespeare laid out on five double-page spreads that include pop-ups and flaps with in the pages that also pop-up. This work of non-fiction gives a great overview of Shakespeare through carefully laid out sections about his life and his works: comedies, histories, romances and tragedies. This would be a perfect book for a living art museum project! I love the plethora of details and how each flap is full of fascinating information and often hilarious recaps. I enjoyed learning about Shakespeare-about the person he was and insight into his writing and his influences that are still felt to this day especially about things you might not have known such how much influence Shakespeare has had on current English language!

The pop-ups by illustrator Jennie Maizels are wonderfully detailed and charming. Each flap and pop-up is carefully laid out to give the reader a sense of wholeness, kind of like theater in the round (another tie in to Shakespeare!).

I somehow got through school without ever having to read Shakespeare  and this was a totally fun catch up on all his greatness that I missed out on. Peaked my interest totally.

Thank you to Candlewick Press for sending me this book. All opinions expressed are my own.


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Mindful Book Reviews By Eve: Mr. Posey’s New Glasses by Ted Kooser

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What a hip grandpa-type Mr. Posey is! I loved immediately the intergenerational friendship between Mr. Posey and Andy. It immediately blankets the story with a sense of compassion and brotherly love that is only reiteration through the fun the two have on their outing, which seems to be a common thing for them to do.

It is funny to think Mr. Posey could get a new pair of glasses at a thrift store as it is obvious that he needs a prescription to see, but that is the fun. With each new/old pair of glasses Mr. Posey tries on, we are invited into a world created by his vivid imagination and is blurred vision of the night sky, undersea life and even what is like for a cat to be pursued by a pack of wild dogs. The accompanying illustrations by Daniel Duncan are so whimsical and beautifully detailed from the overflowing trash can in the bathroom, Mr. Posey’s fancy black and white shoes, a lazy bee floating by a sunflower and the perfect overall effect of the musty thrift store that Mr. Posey and Andy go to. The book is told completely through the illustrations and you can spend hours catching every detail.

To find out that all Mr. Posey needed to do was clean his own, old, dirty glasses is a hoot. With his newly cleaned specs, Mr. Posey is able to enjoy his surroundings more, bringing a sense of mindfulness to his life. Old becomes new.

This is a wonderful picture book with just enough text and new words to excite the young reader as well as the perfect book for read aloud. I highly recommend this sweet story of friendship with an equally gratifying tale of caring for the environment (such as buying used things and using a clothesline for drying.)

The story and illustrations are winners.

Thank you to Candlewick Press for sending me this book. All opinions expressed are my own.


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Mindful Book Reviews by Eve: You Are Light by Aaron Becker

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This book is simply delightful. From the very first turn of the page, which casts a gorgeous mandala shadow onto my hand, I was drawn into its sturdy die-cut frame and stained-glass creativeness. The poetic prose match perfectly with the play of translucent-jewel toned inserts that radiate around a bright yellow sun, together illuminating the story of the sun’s effect on the water cycle while at the same time reflecting the story back onto the reader. You cannot but hold it up to the light at each turn! It’s truly mesmerizing and joy-inducing. This book is very clever and artfully profound. It will certainly delight young children but it has a wider outreach due to its unique and beautiful presentation of both spirituality and natural scientific facts.

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This book is an absolute exuberant celebration of life. With few words, it reminds us to be mindful of our consumption, of our relationship to mother earth and of our connection to every living thing. It is truly an awakening. This book is the full package: creative concept, engaging story; good for young and old…and it is devotedly dedicated to STEAM. I love it!

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Thank you to Candlewick Press for sending me a copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.


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Mindful Book Reviews By Eve: I am Bear & Bear Moves by Ben Bailey Smith

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I Am Bear by Ben Bailey Smith; Illustrated by Sav Akyüz

Bear is a fun-loving, mischief making, goodhearted bear. This beautiful read-aloud picture book, with its beautiful bold and bright graffiti-esque illustrations, is both Rap-able and rhyme-able. I highly recommend this fun book that craftily adds in a solid basis for helping kids build strong language skills. This book is fun, funny and fa-fa-fabulous (wicky-wicky-flash)! Plus, there is a wonderful accompanying (free) music video which only adds to the rocking, rhyming fun. 

Bear Moves by Ben Bailey Smith; Illustrated by Sav Akyüz 616N3FcameL._SX463_BO1,204,203,200_

In this rollicking sequel to I Am Bear, Bear Moves’s narrative combines strong percussive rhythms with fun, descriptive action words and beautiful, bold, graffiti-esque illustrations to encourage the reader to get up and bust-a-move. I call this the ultimate “Rise-and-Shine” book! Everybody, children and adults alike, will have a good hearty laugh at the word play in this fun, laugh-out-loud, shake-your-tail-feather book.
Thank you to Candlewick Press for sending me these books. All opinions expressed are my own.


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Mindful Book Reviews By Eve: Waffles And Pancakes (series) by Cindy Springsteen

Waffles And Pancakes (series) by Cindy Springsteen

  1. A lesson in friendship (Friendship matters more than material things)
  2. A lesson in bullying (The cause and effect of bullying)
  3. A lesson in the true meaning of Christmas (A heart-warming story about love and friendship)
  4. A lesson in being different (Don’t judge a book by its cover)

The Waffles And Pancakes series are well written stories that teach valuable lessons on friendship, bullying, the true meaning of Christmas and on being different with each one helping the reader dig deeper into the true meaning of character, courage and consciousness. The stories pay careful attention to explaining the lesson with clear examples and descriptive passages that empower the reader to be kind, compassionate and respectful.

These books are great to read aloud to younger children, but I feel their real magic lies in older children who can read on their own; this is an important niche. These heart-felt lessons are respectful to the intelligence of the reader and should be available in libraries, schools and therapists offices. These books are great tools for social emotional learning!

Thank you to the author for sending me these books. All opinions expressed are my own. 


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Mindful Book Reviews By Eve: Breath Friends Forever: A Mindfulness Story for Kids by Kids by Laurie Grossman & Ms. Moses’s 4th Grade Class

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Breath Friends Forever: A Mindfulness Story for Kids by Kids by Laurie Grossman & Ms. Moses’s 4th Grade Class. Instant Help Books/New Harbinger.

Truly one of the best things about this book, Breath Friends Forever: A Mindfulness Book for Kids by Kids, and its predecessor, Master of Mindfulness: How to Be Your Own Superhero in Times of Stress, is that it is truly for kids by kids. The voices are clear and strong and young. This simple, sweet story, illustrated with a creative collage of cartoon characters and real life photos, offers various ways to remind us to practice mindfulness whenever needed. The hand gestures, the breathing, the getting in touch with inner peace all combine to offer easy-to-follow instructions for calming down during times of big emotions. The nicely written story offers good factual data on how deep breathing affects and effects the body, mind and energy. This mid-grade book respects the curiosity and personage of the older child. The main message is that a friend is the greatest gift: both to give and to receive.

This is a fabulous authentically voiced mindfulness book for mid-grades. I highly recommend this book. It should be in homes, libraries, schools, therapist offices etc. It is not only a fun, mindful story, but it also serve an important purpose as a book for children to help bolster their self-control, inner peace and resiliency.

Eve Costarelli

Thank you to Laurie Grossman for sending me this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

For more information about accessible mindfulness/yoga/dance, please visit alwaysbedancing dot com

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