Always Be Dancing

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


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Mindful Book Reviews By Eve: Candlewick Press Round-Up!

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Do You Believe In Unicorns by Bethanie Deeney Murguia IMG_6664

This book allows you to believe in magic. It offers just the inkling of possibility that dreams are real and who is to say they are not. It is all about perspective and this is a book by continually posing questions and then offering up silly but plausible answers, it allows young children to relish in their dreams and keep alive the possibility of them being reality. The book affirms the creativity of childhood and presses the message to keep on dreaming and believing.

 

IMG_6667Interrupting Chicken And The Elephant Of Surprise by David Ezra Stein

This book is a hoot! David Ezra Stein is a master of hysterical play on words that will have both adults and children laughing out loud. This book builds up suspense between the punch lines and uses classic fairy tales to intertwine with the creativity of childhood and the typical home scenes of this loving chicken family. I adore the bright and bold color palette and the cartoon like animals, that somehow you feel should be talking and living just like humans do. The love between father and child is evident in this silly, adorable and gleefully ridiculous story. Loved it!

Magnificent Birds by Narisa Togo IMG_6663

This is a gorgeously illustrated non-fiction book, one that would be comfortable on a coffee table as well as in the hands of a child who loves picture books and is interested in birds and nature. Each carefully crafted linoleum-cut print is accompanied by a capsule about eat specific bird, offering just enough information to peak interest. I love the soft color palette and the lines in the prints lend a sense of movement and a life-like feeling to the birds.

This is a beautiful artistic book that highlights the love of birds, nature and looking up!

IMG_6666The Day War Came by Nicola Davies; illustrated by Rebecca Cobb (Published in association with Help Refugees)

This book took my breath away. This is not a soft story-it is a hard hitting look at the struggle for refugees, not just by being torn away from their homes by war but also as a result of ostracization by the new communities they arrive in. This is not an easy book but it is a necessary one. This simple words are full of impact, the characters drawn so lovingly but when that dark charcoal ash smothers the pages, you are lead right into the horrifying reality of a child who loses everything and everyone and then has to go on the run to survive. You feel this child’s longing, the rejection they experience but you also witness the glimmer of hope, through another child’s actions that are pure and full of compassion.

I highly recommend this book. This book is a beautiful dedication tot he refugees and an eye opener that even the simplest of actions can have the deepest effect. This book in the end embraces the beautiful uniqueness of every child symbolized through the beautiful unique chairs that gives each one of them a “seat” to be included.

The Stuff of Stars by Marion Dane Bauer; illustrated by Ekua Holmes IMG_6665

This book is a true work of art from the beautiful poetic prose to the amazing artwork that fills the pages. The rich, jewel-like color palette highlights the gorgeous pages of marbleized paper, ones that look like geodes and fireworks and the menagerie of animals and plant life that emerge through the story of creation. This book brings the story of creation that is both scientific and spiritual. This book is for children as well as for adults and it will open eyes to the wonder of us. Creative thought will be inspired and the wonder and beauty of the cosmos will be dreamed about!

¡Olé Namaste! Eve Costarelli

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

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Mindful Book Reviews By Eve: Mindful Me: Mindfulness and Meditation For Kids & Mindful Me Activity Book by Whitney Stewart

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Mindful Me: Mindfulness and Meditation For Kids & Mindful Me Activity Book by Whitney Stewart; pictures by Stacy Peterson

This dynamic duo of mindfulness books for the mid-grade reader is the perfect gateway into understanding mindfulness and is just jam-packed with short & simple mindful activities, such as meditation, yoga, short self-focused quizzes and journaling to help the young discover the joys and benefits of mindfulness. The book, Mindful Me, is written in a really nice, kind voice as if a good friend is talking to you; it just makes sense for the the preteen mind. I also really appreciate the the book keeps adults (grown-up figures the youth can turn to) present and reminds the youth to reach out to these adults for help. I would also add that the book is great or teens and adults as well and could easily be incorporated into a yoga program or a classroom to bring up topics and activities to increase mindfulness. The accompanying activity book follows along , highlighting the activities in the book. I really love the little notebook feel and the graph paper background. It just begs to be filled in! The activities bolster creativity while bringing the focus to the present moment. I really enjoyed the thoughtful question & answer sections that are written with maturity for the growing mind but are light enough to not be overwhelming. This book-duo is an awesome addition to the mindfulness for kids book and fills a much needed niche for the preteen reader. I highly recommend them both-they would make a great gift!

Thank you to Whitney Stewart for sending me copies of these books. All opinions expressed are my own.


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Mindful Book Reviews By Eve: The Present Is A Gift by Elchanan Ogorek

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The Present Is A Gift written & Illustrated by Elchanan Ogorek

This is a great gateway book into mindfulness for children. The book uses strong, positive affirmations drawing on very creative connections to animals and their inherent qualities and how that ties into mindfulness through thoughts and actions. The art work is fun and quirky and the animals are really enchanting. This book makes mindfulness very accessible for the young. It is a wonderful addition to the mindfulness for kids books! I highly recommend it.

Thank you to Elchanan Orgorek for sending me a copy of his book. All opinions expressed are my own.


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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.


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Mindful Book reviews By Eve: Everyday Kundalini: Yoga, Meditation, Mantras and Breathing to Empower and Transform Your Life by Kathryn McCusker

 

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I knew this was going to be a great book from the get-go as I have been bit by the Kundalini bug and am hungering for knowledge. This book does a great job of hitting on the main points of Kundalini from the history to the subtle body to the therapeutic benefits and offers up a variety of meditations with easy to follow directions accompanied by clear pictures.

I was most inspired by the Sodarshan Chakra Kriya and have committed to a 40 day journey with it. I am starting a little lighter than the author (I am starting with an 11 minute version) but I was immediately drawn to the power of this meditation and after a little online research, I had the tools to begin.

This is book is a great kick off to the understanding of the amazing power of Kundalini yoga. It is a great addition to my personal yoga and mindfulness library and I highly recommend it. It will be a great companion to my expanding Kundalini practice.

Videos by Kathryn McCusker:

What is Kundalini?

What are the benefits of Kundalini?

Everyday Kundalini: Meditation to release anger

Thank you to Watkins Wisdom for sending me this book. All opinions expressed are my own.