Always Be Dancing

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


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Mindful Book reviews By Eve: 10 Horse Farm by Robert Sabuda

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I am utterly in love with these intricate paper horses that literally jump off of the pages of this sweet pop-up book. Each 2-page layout has an action word that is accompanied by a gorgeously crafted pop-up horse along with a host of other farm animals and implements. The words are simple but imagination can run on-and-on within the frames. The final layout is the farm in full where each of the previously noted horses is depicted, adding a fun i-Spy element to the book.

I highly recommend this book. It is the perfect gift for the holidays and every day. This is a great book that stimulates creative thought and offers hours and hours of imaginative play.

Click here to see a Youtube video of the beautiful pop-ups!

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

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

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Mindful Book Reviews By Eve: Sleep, My Bunny by Rosemary Wells

Sleep, My Bunny by Rosemary Wellsimage001

 

Rosemary Wells is a household name and her adorable illustrations evoke memories of childhood’s past. Her bunnies are just so sweet and in this book, I especially love how they are superimposed onto gorgeous textural background paintings that represents the fading light of day into night. The setting sun on the title layout page is so vibrant and just radiates and shimmies right off of the page! You can just sense the chunky application of the paint. These charming illustrations of a bunny family’s nightly rituals are paired perfectly with the beautiful, simple, nature-inspired poetic text.

This is a lovely, calming bedtime story.

I highly recommend this book. It is the perfect gift for the holidays and everyday. The cover of the book has a sweet little line drawing on it and the end papers are just gorgeous splashes of color.

I am excited to be able to offer a free copy of this book to one lucky winner. You can comment on this post for an entry and then please head over to my Instagram page for more options to enter: https://www.instagram.com/mindful_book_reviews_by_eve/ (only available to the continental US) 1-d29454baf2

¡Olé Namaste! Eve Costarelli

Thank you to Candlewick Press for sending me a copy of this book (and one for the giveaway). All opinions stated are my own.

For more information about my accessible mindfulness/yoga/dance program, please visit alwaysbedancing dot wordpress dot com.


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Mindful Book Reviews By Eve: I Can Do Hard Things by Gabi Garcia

I Can Do Hard Things by Gabi Garcia; illustrations by Charity Russell 

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Gabi Garcia has done it again! I Can Do Hard Things, which comes in an adorable mini tote bag along with two affirmation posters, is an engaging and relevant picture book that combines a simple story with strong positive affirmations to help kids deal with everyday stressors, some large and some small. The illustrations depict a beautiful rainbow of diverse characters using positive affirmations to accept feelings, try harder, not being afraid to fail or stand up for what is right and all-in-all learning to embrace uniqueness and acceptance is supreme. A major take away from this book is that what you say matters, whether it is to yourself or to someone else and above all, be kind. IMG_7322

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. It’s fun and engaging nature make it an easy fit as a gateway into mindfulness for young children.

¡Olé Namaste! Eve Costarelli

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

For more information about my accessible mindfulness/yoga/dance program, please visit https://alwaysbedancing(dot)wordpress(dot)com


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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: 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: 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.