Long-time Iyengar yoga teacher and illustrator Bobby Clennell has hit the right tone in her new children's book Watch Me Do Yoga: my five-year-old loves this book. Granted, my daughter has been exposed to a good deal of yoga over her five short years, but lately her interest in downward dog with mom has taken a back seat to drawing pictures of princesses, dressing up (often as a princess), digging in the yard (often while dressed as a princess), and trying to escape to the neighbors' house where they have better snacks and TV.
In her clean, colorful illustrations, Clennell creates a red-headed little yogini and quickly introduces her mom, dad, dog, and younger brother. I'd be happy to move into their bright, modern home (where they undoubtedly have great snacks) and ivy-walled backyard any time. Clennell's premise is spot-on: while yoga may be a solitary, interior pursuit for adults, children want to feel they are participating in something. And if they master a new trick, the first thing they want to do is show mom and dad. Watch Me Do Yoga is a great introduction to how to do yoga with your kids: make it something you do together and make it fun. My only critique is that a few of the poses (such as a full-lotus fish) are a bit advanced for young kids.
As you would expect of the brain-child of an Iyengar teacher, our red-headed protagonist carries each pose off with a smile and near-perfect alignment. After several readings, my daughter was inspired to roll out her purple mat and try all the poses in the book. From there, she made her own drawings of each of the pages so that I could have a copy too (thanks, babe). An altogether very satisfying mother-daughter yoga experience.
Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.