Reviews for My Daddy Is a Pretzel : Yoga for Parents and Kids


Booklist Reviews 2004 October #2
PreS-Gr. 3. Baptiste is an internationally known yoga instructor who has written several guides for adults. His debut yoga title for children uses a clever fiction framework to introduce basic poses. In class, a young narrator sees parallels between what the other students' parents do and what his father, a yoga instructor, does: "Niki says her mommy's a gardener," reads one page. "Sometimes my daddy's a tree." The following spread features a man in tree pose along with step-by-step illustrations demonstrating how to move in and out of the posture. Other poses--the dog, the airplane, the pretzel, and so on--follow. The cheery, tropical-colored paintings reinforce a sunny mood; the simplified, naive-style images may not have the clarity of photographs, but they still offer adequate demonstrations. Although kids will need help with the positions and the hints about yoga's more spiritual benefits, they'll easily be drawn into this upbeat introduction, while their parents will connect with Baptiste's motivational introduction. Pair this with Thia Luby's excellent nonfiction Children's Book of Yoga (1998) for more instruction. ((Reviewed October 15, 2004)) Copyright 2004 Booklist Reviews.

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ForeWord Magazine Reviews 2005 January/February
Many kids today understand multiple meanings of words like Triangle, Bridge, Plow, and Fish-a new language describing yoga, a mind-body practice that lots of kids are now exposed to, even in preschool. Known for such famous students as Helen Hunt, Raquel Welch, and NFL football stars, and for his two best-selling yoga books, Journey into Power and 40 Days to Personal Revolution, the author approaches this new book from one of his favorite roles-a parent to his three sons. The playful presentation of poses is wrapped by a two-page introduction and three-page tip section. It reads like a yoga class. Baptiste, like his boys, was raised by yoga teachers and he talks to parents about how kids learn through imitation. It's an invitation for parents and kids to practice yoga together. In the book's yoga class, the students are invited to say what jobs their parents do. Each described career inspires a connected yoga pose from the narrator's daddy: "Sita says that her mommy is a marine biologist. Sometimes, my daddy's a fish." The accompanying pages explain and illustrate the Fish pose. A gardener becomes Tree; a veterinarian, Dog; an architect, Triangle; a builder, Bridge. The connection between the job and the poses is a wonderful way to show the shapes of yoga in daily life. When referring to "my daddy" who does the yoga, the book is unclear; it might have read better if Baptiste had just admitted that he is that daddy. Each pose is given two full pages, with four to six steps of explanation. The instructions are easy to follow and the descriptions provide exercises for the mind as well as the body, demonstrating the mind-body connection of yoga: "The fish pose teaches us how to relax and accept the flow of life that carries and supports us on our journey." The illustrator, a French professional artist living in Italy, has won awards for her vivid use of color and shape; her three-dimensional works are on display at the Musée du Cirque in Paris. Here, her colors are cheerfully bright enough to engage kids, and her palate of rich hues is pleasing to adult eyes. She has illustrated several previous children's books, including The Story Tree, Babushka, and The Barefoot Book of Monsters! Baptiste loves sharing yoga. He believes in the practice's power to change people of any age. He encourages readers to think about how the postures affect them mentally and emotionally as well as physically; for instance, he suggests using the lion pose to boost courage. Readers will be hard-pressed to read this book without putting it down to try the airplane pose. Baptiste, who is a pretzel during much of his day, will think that's just fine. Copyright 2005 ForeWord Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2005 Spring
Clear, step-by-step instructions and diagrams on how to achieve each of nine yoga poses such as tree, plow, and fish are illustrated with brightly colored art of Gumby-limbed characters demonstrating the different poses. The fictional framework, however, of a boy describing the careers of his yoga classmates' parents ("Emmie says her daddy's a farmer. Sometimes, my daddy's a plow") feels forced. Copyright 2005 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Library Media Connection Reviews 2005 April
Baptiste, a world-renowned yoga teacher, presents a picture book introducing the idea of yoga to children. Not only does the book show kids what yoga looks like, it demonstrates how to do many of the yoga positions. The author describes yoga as "training the hearts, minds and bodies." In our world where we must promote healthy habits to our young, yoga represents a viable method to do this. In the book, children at school share about the jobs their parents do. There are gardeners, veterinarians, architects, pilots, builders, farmers, marine biologists, and bakers. The child who is narrator explains that, through his yoga, his daddy can be all those things. The colorful watercolor illustrations display the actual yoga movement for each of these postures. This will be a popular book in the classroom and in the gym. It is a worthy addition to a library media center collection, encouraging children to become healthy and active. Recommended. Kay Bowes, Children's Librarian, Brandywine Hundred Library, Wilmington, Delaware © 2005 Linworth Publishing, Inc.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2004 November #3
Kids learn to bend, twist and achieve spiritual balance with new titles that focus on yoga. Renowned yoga instructor Baron Baptiste unfolds My Daddy Is a Pretzel: Yoga for Parents and Kids, illus. by Sophie Fatus. Sitting in a circle, children reveal their parents' jobs, all of which are then related to a yoga pose: "Anna says her step-dad's a pilot. Sometimes my daddy's an airplane." Scenes of parent and child on the job alternate with spreads that give step-by-step instructions for the correlating poses (nine in all). Fatus's bright watercolors teem with relevant details and her lithe children make the poses look achievable. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2005 January
PreS-Gr 2-This picture book revolves around children participating in a yoga class and discussing their parents' occupations. For each job-gardener, veterinarian, architect-a corresponding pose is demonstrated-tree, dog, triangle. Stylized watercolor illustrations alternate between spreads showing people at work and an assortment of smaller paintings that break the poses into several steps, along with simple instructions. Introductory paragraphs for each posture attempt to relay the underlying philosophy, with varying success. "The tree pose teaches us to support ourselves with strong roots, so that we can reach high and remain stable, yet be flexible, at the same time" is straightforward enough for young children to grasp. However, the explanation for the plow pose is a bit more obtuse: "Like the plow that turns the soil over to make way for new growth, this pose teaches us that overturning old ways of seeing things sets the ground for inner growth." With warmth and charm, this offering gently encourages young readers, along with their parents, to give yoga a try just for enjoyment. While it serves as an attractive introduction, Thia Luby's Children's Book of Yoga (Clear Light, 1998) provides a much more comprehensive treatment of the subject.-Joyce Adams Burner, Hillcrest Library, Prairie Village, KS Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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