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Exercise: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about exercise?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to exercise. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about exercise.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

When it comes to children’s stories about exercise, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like I Went Walking to popular sellers like From Head to Toe Board Book to some of our favorite hidden gems like Henri’s Walk to Paris.

We hope this list of kids books about exercise can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

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Henri's Walk to Paris
Written by Leonore Klein & illustrated by Saul Bass
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Henri’s Walk to Paris is the story of a young boy who lives in Reboul, France, who dreams of going to Paris. One day, after reading a book about Paris, he decides to pack a lunch and head for the city. “Like many of us Henri wants to see Paris. In Paris, there are thousands of buses. In Reboul, where Henri lives, there is only one bus. In Paris there are many parks and rows and rows of trees. The park in Reboul has only five trees. In Paris there are many zoos full of animals for the people to see. So one fine day Henri packs up some lunch and starts off to see all the things he had read about.” Along the way, Henri gets tired and falls asleep under a tree. And this is when the story gets really charming. What Henri sees, we see, in a flowing panorama of pictures conceived by the eminent graphic designer Saul Bass.

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Turtle Walk
Written & illustrated by Matt Phelan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
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I Yoga You
Written & illustrated by Genevieve Santos
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Parents and children learn how to say “I love you” through yoga as they move through their day together in a perfectly mindful way.

I love you in the morning when we salute the sun. Wiggle and stretch out of bed, our day has now begun.

From morning to night, I Yoga You celebrates the love a parent shares with their child while also teaching simple yoga poses. Sun salutations give way to mountain poses, tree poses, and more as families move through their mindful day together.

This padded board book teaches little ones a new way to say “I love you”—reveling in those quiet daily moments that shine with energy, delight, and surprises.

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Meddy Teddy
Written & illustrated by Apple Jordan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Say namaste to Meddy Teddy, a rising star in the yogi world, in his debut picture book! Media and social media sensation Meddy Teddy is a cuddly, yoga pant-clad, completely poseable plush bear that introduces meditation and mindfulness practices to little yogis. In this first-ever companion book, Meddy encourages readers to try yoga poses as he comes out of hibernation, greets the springtime, and teaches his forest friends how to mindfully get through a variety of situations. On each page, Meddy shows how to execute a pose, including downward-facing dog, tree pose, the Warrior, and more. The youngest yogis, and their families and friends, will rejoice as they master each one, and work up to completing the whole sequence! Yoga and mindfulness have proven benefits for kids: they help them become aware of their own bodies, and deal with feelings like anxiety, frustration, confusion, fear, and sadness in a healthy way. Meddy Teddy is perfect for introducing kids (and grown ups) of all ages to the practice of yoga.

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ABC Yoga
Written & illustrated by Christiane Engel
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Pairing simplified yoga poses with alphabetized animals and objects, ABC Yoga features colorful illustrations of children and animals practicing yoga along with playful rhymes to explain each movement. A fun family read, this interactive title is perfect for teaching toddlers their ABCs, as well as introducing them to familiar animals and basic, simplified yoga poses that promote health and well-being. Each letter of the alphabet is paired with an engaging illustration mimicking the various animals’ natural movements. Clever rhymes explain how toddlers (and their parents!) can copy the poses, each of which encourage movement, physical fitness, and mental health. The 26 yoga poses, one for each letter of the alphabet, are renamed for easy understanding, while an index at the end of the book identifies the correct name for each asana (yoga pose) for the adults. The engaging illustrations and playful rhymes encourage children and their parents to get up and move, promoting physical activity, learning, and togetherness.

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  • Harlem Grown: How One Big Idea Transformed a Neighborhood - “An inspiring picture book for youngsters with meaningful ties to the environment, sustainability, and community engagement.” —Booklist
    “Hartland’s gouache illustrations wobble endearingly, colorfully capturing the children’s triumph, and the kinetic energy and colorful vibrancy of the city neighborhood.” —Publishers Weekly
    Discover the incredible true story of Harlem Grown, a lush garden in New York City that grew out of an abandoned lot and now feeds a neighborhood. Once
    In a big city called New York
    In a bustling neighborhood
    There was an empty lot.
    Nevaeh called it the haunted garden.
    Harlem Grown tells the inspiring true story of how one man made a big difference in a neighborhood. After seeing how restless they were and their lack of healthy food options, Tony Hillery invited students from an underfunded school to turn a vacant lot into a beautiful and functional farm. By getting their hands dirty, these kids turned an abandoned space into something beautiful and useful while learning about healthy, sustainable eating and collaboration. Five years later, the kids and their parents, with the support of the Harlem Grown staff, grow hundreds of pounds of fruits and vegetables a year. All of it is given to the kids and their families. The incredible story is vividly brought to life with Jessie Hartland’s “charmingly busy art” (Booklist) that readers will pore over in search of new details as they revisit this poignant and uplifting tale over and over again. Harlem Grown is an independent, not-for-profit organization. The author’s share of the proceeds from the sale of this book go directly to Harlem Grown.

  • Llama Llama Hoppity-Hop! - Can you move like Llama Llama? Watch Llama hop, stretch, touch, and tap in this third board book by Anna Dewdney. Then you can do it, too!

  • Yoga Baby - In this photographic board book, a diverse group of babies show off yoga moves that come naturally to them.

  • The Three Little Yogis and the Wolf Who Lost His Breath: A Fairy Tale to Help You Feel Better - A calming spin on a classic fairy tale from #1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Verde Once upon a time there lived a wolf who lost his huff and his puff. It was a BIG, BAD problem! One morning, the wolf came upon a peaceful little yogi doing sun salutations. The wolf wanted to huff and puff and blooow her hut down into a big pile of straw. But instead the yogi suggested, “Let’s meditate on that!” Soon the wolf met a second yogi, and then a third. He may have lost his huff and puff—but with the help of three new yogi friends, can the wolf find his breath?

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Belly Breathe
Written by Leslie Kimmelman & illustrated by Lindsay Dale-Scott
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

A simple relaxation and calming technique, belly breathing is a tool everyone can use! Studies have found that belly breathing improves concentration and relieves tension. This mindfulness board book showcases the easy skill that is a great way to teach kids how to manage stress and emotions.

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Walk On!
Written & illustrated by Marla Frazee
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Tired of sitting on the floor all day long, a little baby makes his first attempts at standing up, taking a first step, and seeing the world from a different view.

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Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
Written by Skye Silver & illustrated by Mariana Ruiz Johnson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Develop healthy habits for growing bodies and minds with a fresh twist on a classic movement singalong. Follow a family through a day from home to school in their diverse community as they engage in healthy habits from good hygiene to reading. Includes educational endnotes about each health topic as well as audio and animation.

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I Am the Jungle: A Yoga Adventure
Written by Melissa Hurt & illustrated by Katy Tanis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

I Am the Jungle: A Yoga Adventure takes kids through a yoga flow of poses inspired by the natural world, including Mountain, River, Elephant, and Python. Told through a fun adventure story that focuses on imagination, the book offers young readers the benefits of yoga, including movement, joy, and focus.
In addition to learning basic yoga poses, children will learn to identify different emotions while practicing those poses. Butterfly Pose helps you feel calm and centered, Tree Pose brings feelings of being grounded and well balanced, and Turaco Pose lets you get your playful on!
The back of the book includes a parents’ and teachers’ guide with Sanskrit names and physical benefits of each yoga pose.

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I Went Walking
Written by Sue Williams & illustrated by Julie Vivas
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

A young child goes for a walk and discovers a colorful parade of animals along the way. Satisfaction ensured. Top quality children s item. Makes for an excellent gift idea.

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  • Baby Loves: Yoga - B is for Breathe, C is for Cat pose, and D is for Downward dog in this beautiful ABC book designed to teach very young children the basic concepts of yoga. Baby Loves is a new range of giftable preschool ABC books that taps into the trends that matter. Stunningly illustrated with a cut-to-white aesthetic, each pocket-sized book is a perfect introduction to a key topic for babies.

  • From Head to Toe Board Book - What does an elephant do? It stomps its foot. Can you? From the creator of such beloved classics as The Grouchy Ladybug and The Mixed-Up Chameleon comes this interactive story that invites kids to imitate animal movements. Watching giraffes bend their necks or monkeys wave their arms is fun, but nothing could be better than joining in. From their heads down to their toes, kids will be wriggling, jiggling, and giggling as they try to keep up with these animals!Alligators wiggle, elephants stop, gorillas thump, and giraffes bend. Can you do it? ‘ I can do it!’ is the confidence-building message of this fun-filled interactive picture book. A variety of familiar animals invite young children to copy their antics, and as they play, they will learn such important skills as careful listening, focusing attention, and following instructions. Just as alphabet books introduce the very young child to letters and simple words, From Head to Toe introduces the basic body parts and simple body movements. And in the same way that children progress from understanding simple words to reading and writing sentences and stories, so they will progress from simple body movements to dancing, gymnastics, and other sports and activities, with confidence and pleasure. Eric Carle’s colorful collages have delighted children for more than a generation. Each book provides hours of fun while encouraging them to stretch their imaginations. His matchless words and illustrations now send out a new challenge: Are you ready? Here we go! Move yourself From Head to Toe. A Main Selection of the Children’s Book-of-the-Month Club

  • Mindful Me - Sometimes kids’ lives can get busy and out of control, and worries can take over. When that happens, knowing how to pause and regain composure with mindfulness can help! This easily digestible guide introduces kids to mindfulness as a way to find clarity, manage stress, handle difficult emotions, and navigate personal challenges. With step-by-step instructions to over thirty breathing, relaxation, and guided meditation exercises, readers will have an entire toolkit at their disposal and writing prompts will help them process their discoveries. Clearly written and incredibly relatable, this invaluable resource provides a positive introduction to the world of self-care and mindfulness.

  • I Am Yoga - An eagle soaring among the clouds, a star twinkling in the night sky, a camel in the desert, or a boat sailing across the sea . . . Yoga has the power of transformation. Not only does it strengthen bodies and calm minds, but with a little imagination, it can show us that anything is possible. New York Times bestselling illustrator Peter H. Reynolds teams up with author and certified Yoga instructor Susan Verde in this book about creativity and the power of self-expression. I Am Yoga encourages children to explore the world of Yoga and make room in their hearts for the world beyond it.

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Good Morning Yoga: A Pose-By-Pose Wake Up Story
Written by Mariam Gates
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

Sounds True's picture book Good Morning Yoga is beloved by teachers, parents, and especially young yogis. This board book version brings the story and simple poses to the littlest readers.

Whether they're an explorer crossing bridges, a gentle stream flowing downhill, or a brave ski jumper ready to fly, children will enjoy the adventure story that also helps them move their bodies and get ready for the day.

The last spread of the book includes instructions for each yoga pose.

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Move!
Written by Lolly Hopwood and YoYo Kusters & illustrated by Luke Flowers
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

From the team behind the high-energy children’s musical and fitness group Lolly and YoYo, MOVE! is a unique board book unlike any your child has read. It’s a book that combines imaginative play with movement. Hold it up to your face like a big pair of jaws and ROAR and STOMP like a rampaging dinosaur. Hold on tight and SPIN like a flying saucer weaving through an interplanetary race. MOVE! will excite the imaginations and inspire the movements of kids and parents alike. Lively rhyming text and colorful, spirited illustrations by award-winning artist Luke Flowers prompt young readers to perform physical activities utilizing the book’s die-cut holes and handles. Now lie down on top and paddle the floor. Jump on board and you’re SURFING to shore! Can you FLUTTER this book like butterfly wings? And fly around looking for colorful things? This is a book that fosters a love for reading and for physical activity. It’s the book Press Here meets the game Twister with a little yoga thrown in–designed to keep kids healthy, happy, and having fun.

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Anne's Numbers
Written by & illustrated by Kelly Hill
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

A must-have board book for Anne of Green Gables fans, with charming, hand-embroidered illustrations.

Iconic moments from the beloved L.M. Montgomery classic are celebrated in this adorable concept book. Walk along with Anne as she goes on a nature walk, counting trees, flowers, clouds and friends! The path Anne takes is based on the description of Anne’s walk to school in Anne of Green Gables. Each scene has multiple counting opportunities, with simple text and tactile, gorgeous works of art created from cut fabric and embroidery.

Part of a series of Anne concept books, Anne’s Numbers is a perfect way to introduce future fans to this winning character.

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Bad Kitty Joins the Team
Written & illustrated by Nick Bruel
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

See Kitty as you've never seen her before: EXERCISING (reluctantly) in Bad Kitty Joins the Team, the latest installment of Nick Bruel's phenomenally successful New York Times bestselling series.

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A Sporting Chance: How Ludwig Guttmann Created the Paralympic Games
Written by Lori Alexander
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Telling the inspiring human story behind the creation of the Paralympics, this young readers biography artfully combines archival photos, full-color illustrations, and a riveting narrative to honor the life of Ludwig Guttmann, whose work profoundly changed so many lives.
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  • Happiness Doesn't Come from Headstands - Trying—and failing—can be a path to happiness too. Leela loves to do yoga. She could do all sorts of poses, but there was one pose she couldn’t do. Every time Leela tried to do a headstand…KERPLUNK! This book explores the themes of acceptance, resilience, and self-compassion and offers the message that just because we may experience a failure does not mean that we are a failure. Written as a counterpoint to the message of The Little Engine that Could, Happiness Doesn’t Come from Headstands is a story about a girl who tries her best, but still falls down. Through the process she learns that happiness is not determined by external achievement. Even in the face of failure, peace can be found if we accept that we cannot do everything and focus on our experience.

  • How to Solve a Problem: The Rise (and Falls) of a Rock-Climbing Champion - From Ashima Shiraishi, one of the world's youngest and most skilled climbers, comes a true story of strength and perseverance--in rock climbing and in life

  • Yawning Yoga - A beautiful bedtime routine for yogis of any age! Starting with a gentle Om, Yawning Yoga’s simple instructions, gorgeous illustrations, and soothing poetry guide readers through a relaxing routine to end the day. Thoughtful poems depict a series of step-by-step yoga poses. Each of the poses is accompanied by its Sanskrit name, adding to the layers of learning. Written by a specialist in yoga for children, this lovely introduction to the elements of yoga practice—including stretching, posture, and breath work—will help children and their caring adults ready their bodies for a restful sleep.

  • The Unicorn's Tale - Beastologist-in-training Nathaniel Fludd and his Aunt Phil nurse a mysteriously ill unicorn, try to stop Obediah from taking the unicorn’s horn, and finally get a solid lead on the whereabouts of Nathaniel’s parents.

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Listening Walk
Written by & illustrated by Aliki
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

With art by home and classroom favorite Aliki, The Listening Walk will remind both adults and kids of the wonders all around them...if they slow down and listen. This picture book is an excellent choice to share during homeschooling, in particular for children ages 4 to 6. It's a fun way to learn to read and as a supplement for activity books for children.

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You are a Lion!
Written & illustrated by Taeeun Yoo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

With simple instructions and bright, clear illustrations, award-winning artist Taeeun Yoo invites children to enjoy yoga by assuming playful animal poses. And she sparks their imagination further by encouraging them to pretend to be the animal – to flutter like a butterfly, hiss like a snake, roar like a lion and more. Yoga is great for kids because it promotes flexibility and focus – and it’s relaxing good fun! The charming pictures of children and animals and the lyrical text make this gentle introduction to yoga a book to be treasured.

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Peaceful Piggy Yoga
Written & illustrated by Kerry Lee MacLean
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Who loves yoga? Everyone from ballerinas to football players to moms and dads! It’s a great way to keep your body and your mind happy and healthy! Includes instructions for eleven classic yoga poses.

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Morning with Grandpa
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Now available in paperback: In this sweet, slice-of-life story, a curious and active Asian American girl spends the day learning tai chi from her grandfather, and in turn tries to teach him how to do yoga.

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The Busy Body Book: A Kid's Guide to Fitness
Written & illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A celebration of the amazing human machine and a life on the move!

Your amazing body can jump, sprint, twist, and twirl. Your body is built to move.

Lizzy Rockwell explains how your bones and muscles, heart and lungs, nerves and brain all work together to keep you on the go. Kids walk and skate and tumble through these pages with such exuberance that even sprouting couch potatoes will want to get up and bounce around—and that’s the ultimate goal. Studies show that American kids are becoming more sedentary and more overweight and that they carry these tendencies with them into adolescence and adulthood. Experts agree that we need to help kids make physical activity a life-long habit. Through education, information, and encouragement, this book aims to inspire a new generation of busy bodies!

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  • Yoga Magic - Make yoga magic with the most beautiful and interactive kids yoga book out there! Pull the levers, turn the wheels, and watch as 13 adorable children come to life to act out 13 yoga poses and create other yoga magic. Kids will delight in seeing the sun rise over the mountain pose, boats float beneath the bridge pose, and branches magnificently blossom when a child makes the tree pose. A perfect tool for instructing and inspiring little yogis of all ages.

  • My First Yoga Class - Young readers can learn all about what happens at yoga class in this Pre-level 1 Ready-to-Read with sweet text and photographs of yogis-in-training! It’s the first day of yoga class in this early reader by Biscuit creator Alyssa Satin Capucilli. Roll out your yoga mat! What will it be like? Yoga students stand on sticky mats and learn poses with animal names like “downward dog” and “lion pose.” Young readers will love seeing kids their age practicing yoga in this adorable introduction to the sport! Includes a special section of step-by-step instructions for basic yoga poses—to be done with a parent or guardian’s supervision.

  • Peaceful Piggy Meditation - What can you do when you’re mad, sad, or anxious? Find a quiet spot, sit, and breathe. When you meditate every day, your mind stays happy, and even bad days are a little easier.

  • Spring in the Woods - Join the fun of finding and counting all the animals, flowers, and insects, as more and more appear on a lively walk through the woods during the springtime. Packed with repetition that young children love and that also helps them learn, this is an entertaining introduction to colors, numbers, and the seasons.

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Henry Hikes to Fitchburg
Written & illustrated by D.B. Johnson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Inspired by a passage from Henry David Thoreau’s WALDEN, this wonderfully appealing story follows two friends who have very different approaches to life. When the two agree to meet one evening in Fitchburg, which is thirty miles away, each decides to get there in his own way and have surprisingly different days.

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Winter in the City
Written by Sue Tarsky & illustrated by Claire Lordon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Join the fun of finding and counting all the cars, trucks, animals, and buildings as more and more appear on a lively city walk in winter. Packed with repetition that young children love and that also helps them learn, this is an entertaining introduction to colors, numbers, and the seasons.

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Ballet School
Written by Ashley Bouder & illustrated by Julia Bereciartu
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Welcome to your first day at ballet school! Put on your ballet shoes and let’s master your basics with author and New York City Ballet principal Ashley Bouder. Learn five basic lessons, then visit the costume room, before putting on your very own show of Sleeping Beauty at the end.

There’s no admissions policy to our Ballet School. Whether you are already learning ballet, or thinking about starting, this class is for you. Learn your pliés, first positions, jetés, pirouettes, and grand battements.

But what happens if you fall? How do you stretch and look after your body? How do you get ready for class? No worries—it’s all answered in this book from professional ballerina Ashley Bouder.

Then go on to learn the characters and interpretations of Sleeping Beauty—taught in an inclusive way so anyone can dance the parts they want to. A helpful glossary at the back provides a review of ballet terms and how to pronounce them.

Tutus are optional.

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Cici Reno: #MiddleSchoolMatchmaker (Yoga Girls)
Written & illustrated by Kristina Springer
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-13

“This clever twist on Cyrano de Bergerac will win over the hearts of middle schoolers, particularly those feeling shy or awkward themselves, as well as reluctant readers.” —Booklist

What happens when the girl who knows everything . . . suddenly doesn’t? Middle school is a test, but Cici Reno has all the answers. She’s the go-to girl for advice. She’s cool, she’s funny, and she’s enlightened (thanks to yoga classes at her mom’s studio). So when her pretty BFF, Aggie, is too shy to speak to the boy she’s crushing on, Cici goes online and does the talking for her. The only problem is, Cici starts to fall for the guy herself! For the first time in her life, she doesn’t have a clue.

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Yoga
Written by Míriam Raventós & illustrated by Maria Girón
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

With simple text and fun, engaging illustrations, Yoga Storytime is the perfect book to introduce kids to the benefits of yoga. Discover the basics of practicing yoga by tracing the story of its beginnings in India, showing how its earliest practitioners observed things in nature, such as trees, cats, snakes, and lions, and then imitated their poses. They realized that the most simple and natural thing to do is breathe; the practice of yoga starts with becoming mindful of one’s own breath and then learning how to breathe and do nothing more. Míriam Raventós was born and still lives in Barcelona, Spain. It wasn’t until her thirties that she began training to be a yoga instructor. She now teaches at Proyoga, a yoga studio that her mother founded in 1985. Maria Girón was also born in Barcelona and grew up in Garrotxa, Spain. She studied fine arts at the University of Barcelona and illustration at the Llotja School of Art and Design in Barcelona.

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  • Meddy Teddy: Mindful Poses for Little Yogis - You’re never too young to do yoga! Take a deep breath, and follow along as Meddy Teddy shows you his favorite yoga poses. Meddy Teddy, the poseable bear that’s been praised by People and Cosmopolitan, is taking to the mat for a younger reader with this engaging board book introduction to yoga for tots. Photos of Meddy give toddlers a realistic picture of what to do so that they can follow along and learn to pose themselves in crow, pigeon, and other meditative positions that improve flexibility and relaxation. This book is perfect for parents looking to help their children (and themselves) learn how to breathe deeply and stay calm amid the bedlam of the Terrible Twos and the Trying Threes. Namaste.

  • Walk and See: Colors - This elegant board book takes very young readers on a journey to explore the colors of the rainbow. The talented Rosalind Beardshaw’s beautiful illustrations and visual storytelling follow two children on a summer walk through the countryside, bringing a narrative feel to this simple book for very young readers. The third in a series of seasonal concept books, this is a board book to visit again and again.

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