By Susan Verde
Verde (I Am Yoga) writes again about mindfulness in a new picture book that incorporates yoga into a nimble fractured fairy tale about a big bad wolf who inexplicably loses his huff and his puff. The wolf knows his long-standing outbursts of anger are futile but still has a compulsion to demolish everything in his sight. He meets three piglet yogis in succession and is miffed that he can’t blow down their homes. When the yogis notice the wolf’s frustration they serenely respond, “Let’s meditate on that.” They teach him belly breathing, cooling breath, and supported breathing methods that help him, even if temporarily, to calm down and relax. After practicing his exercises with all three yogis the wolf decisively finds his breath through yoga and learns how to control his anger. Verde’s narrative text is so inviting that the readers will want to practice the wolf’s yoga and breathing patterns. She includes additional breathing exercises and poses at the back of the book. Jay Fleck (Tiny T. Rex) illustrates this new-age tale with expressive characters in his charming graphic style of simple shape and line. The sophisticated complementary color palettes on the double-page spreads have a calming effect on the viewer with pleasurable shades of gold, earthy greens, and thought-provoking orange-reds. Perfect to read one-on-one or in a group to help children (and adults) find their inner peace and power of breath.
Book Review by Rita Christensen, Children’s Librarian