Maria Explores the Ocean
Dive in to learn about Pacific Ocean animals through ocean yoga poses for kids!
Join Maria as she explores the ocean with her granddad. Glide like a manta ray, float like a jellyfish, and cruise like a parrotfish.
Learn what's under the water, act out ocean animals, and practice colors!
Age group: Toddler, preschoolers ages 2-5.
This is the first of Giselle Shardlow's books that I have the pleasure of reviewing. I found the book easy to follow and engaging. I really liked the illustrations and having colours and educational points make up the pages is an important part of learning, reading and fun. I particularly liked how the yoga poses were integrated into each page and how they are depicted in a small yet clear illustration on each page. I thought this book would be ideal for preschoolers in terms of simplicity and how easy it is to follow. While I love this book, I do believe it lacks a little in terms of adventure or 'magic' in the story element of the book and for that reason I don't think it would work as well for older children given this simplicity of content, although the illustrations and yoga poses would work very well. Thank you so much for the opportunity to review. I will most definitely use Giselle Shardlow's books again in my work.
I am a preschool speech-language pathologist who works with students who also often have sensory differences and motor delays. I have recently started using yoga as a teaching vehicle for improving language and that is how I discovered Giselle Shardlow's website and books. The aspect I love most about this book is that it can be used to work on so many different language concepts: ocean animal names, action words, colors, physical descriptors - the list goes on! The added benefit of infusing movement and direction following into the learning activity through yoga makes the concepts even more salient to young learners. My only critique is that for students who are just learning colors, they may be confused when by the colors in the story, which don't always exactly match the stated color. For example, the "black ray" is really more of a dark grey and the "red seahorse" looks orangey-peach. I can't wait to use this book with my students in the fall and eagerly look forward to exploring more of Giselle Shardlow's books to use with different thematic units throughout the year!
My children love anything to do with the ocean, so when I showed them this book they were really excited. My children range from 10 to 1 year, so when I pulled out this book and told them there was yoga involved they couldn't wait for me to read it. As I read through the pages and showed them the poses they were more than happy to do the poses with me. Even the little ones tried to copy the bigger kids. They enjoyed how interactive this book was and asked for more books like it. I feel like they are getting so much more than just a story. It is a great bonding experience as well as beneficial to their well being on many levels!!
This book follows Maria as she goes on an underwater adventure with her grandfather. The reader explores the underwater world with her and learns all about sea creatures and their habitat. The learning comes alive through movement. There is a simple illustrated yoga pose for each page of the story. This makes it easy to follow. There is a supplementary list of yoga poses with illustrations and directions which is very useful. To compliment the theme of the book there is advice on how to care for the sea too. Overall this book is fun and interactive. As a parent and a child psychotherapist, I highly recommend this book. It encourages self awareness, fun breath work, and relaxation. It will become part of my library of resources in work for using with children and with groups. At home it has immediately become a firm favourite with my 2 children. Thank you for this beautifully illustrated and wonderful book.
Maria Explores The Ocean is a fantastic way to teach all kids young and younger about two things, yoga asana and each person’s relationship to the environment. I enjoyed reading this book and will enjoy reading it with my children and students. As an educator using this book will teach intertextuality, the practice of cognitive flexibility and narrative representation. Whether kids practice the asana poses as the story is read to them or practice the poses after reading the story they will gain a deep appreciation for each pose and reflect on its meaning in terms of the environment. I am thankful for having read this book.
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