Can a young child learn to exercise in a short time in a way similar to adults taking a gym or yoga class? Perhaps they can–with the help of this beautifully-illustrated book which aims to help children “get moving”.
The story follows a young boy through his morning routine as he mimics the movements of various wild animals. The actions mentioned on each page are easy enough for a preschooler and kindergartener to imitate, such as one which reads, “…then [I] use my hands as fins to swim like a fish.” Simple enough yet fun. Toddlers will enjoy studying the book’s bright illustrations. While they will need an adult or older child to read the words to them and show them how to follow the actions described on each page, they will readily comply, given that the illustrations truly draw their attention.
When can this book be read? At any time of the day, even at bedtime. It is short enough for a child to enjoy a low-impact stretch before laying down for the night. However, it is also stimulating enough for a parent to read with their child at the start or the middle of the day. Readers can download free lesson plans for use at school or at home, however they choose. Preschool and Kindergarten teachers could easily use this book, accompanied by the lessons plan outlines, to teach concepts to young children such as how to repeat an action, how to keep to a certain space, how to listen for directions, etc.
Parents and teachers will appreciate this book for its ability to teach their children to be “creatively fit”, to use a phrase from the author. Pilgrim wanted to awaken the imaginations of young children, which she does very well as she suggests that they “soar like an eagle” or “swing…like a monkey”. And those same children will continue to use their imagination as they request that this book be read to them again and again.
Emily Castilla is an avid reader and mother of three.