Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Yoga with Babar

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-4-Babar confides that even elephants experience stress in their day-to-day living, and a little yoga, it seems, goes a long way in providing comfort and relaxation. In fact, the book starts out by revealing that little clay cylinders found in a cave near Celesteville prove that elephants invented yoga. This find was authenticated at the National Library, where elephants, together with human yoga experts, "discovered that all of the poses depicted on the seals are still practiced today." Spreads feature instructional text on one side, with Babar illustrating the poses on the other. After introducing yoga to Celesteville, Babar and Celeste go on a worldwide jaunt where they practice their favorite yoga positions in front of famous landmarks. The Proud Warrior is demonstrated in front of the Eiffel Tower, the Bridge is practiced in front of the Half Dome in Yosemite, and, because "the traffic in Times Square is terrible," the Lotus position returns Babar's and Celeste's minds to Celesteville. While the art style is reminiscent of the original books, the colors are far more subdued. A note at the end reminds children that "this book is intended for elephants interested in yoga," and that "humans and other animals should consult books written specifically with them in mind." The book includes a large, removable poster. Babar's Yoga would be useful for larger collections needing information on the subject.
Lisa Gangemi Kropp, Middle Country Public Library, Centereach, NY
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly

Babar narrates this lighthearted guide to yoga for pachyderms (and people). He begins by explaining that archeologists working in a cave near Celesteville recently discovered ancient drawings revealing that woolly mammoths not only practiced yoga they invented it. Since then, yoga has become "tremendously popular" in Babar's hometown; it "helps us all to relax and draw strength from our inner elephant." In straightforward prose, this thoroughly relaxed elephant outlines yoga movements, stretches and exercises to improve balance and to strengthen the back and stomach. (Yoga lovers will recognize his opening Salutation to the Sun, and all that follow, as the real McCoy.) Though these instructions include playful touches (at one point Babar notes, "I find wrapping my trunk around my feet helps to stretch"), aspiring yoga practitioners can easily follow de Brunhoff's directives and imitate the movements in his signature watercolor renderings of the earnest narrator. A comical concluding sequence of pages shows Babar and pals putting their yoga positions to the test as they stretch in the airport during a delay, relax on the median at Times Square or imitate landmarks (e.g., a Head Stand in the Place de la Concorde next to the obelisk; a Standing Head to Knee in Venice's Piazza San Marco). This diverting volume conveys de Brunhoff's passion for his subject both the star and his practice. All ages.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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