Journal Reviews

School Library Journal Review, December 2011

Scooter & Me: Possum’s Tail – Kids Yoga DVD for Balance and Concentration.

In this yoga program that helps develop balance, instructor Wendy Phillips Piret, guides a class of eight ethnically diverse boys and girls through a story in which they are involved in actively moving through the adventures. After a brief stretch routine that includes “Head, shoulders, knees, and tails,” Piret takes the children down south to the Louisiana Swampland where they meet a little possum with no tail who must learn to balance as she climbs trees, crosses rivers, and avoids alligators. Children become birds catching fish, cypress trees balancing, a boy riding a scooter, and a possum cavorting through the woods as they move through a series of yoga poses. Along the way they learn to employ two”adventure skills.” The first is turning “oh, no” into “ah, yes” by relaxing and breathing. The second skill is called “elephant wisdom” and involves giving oneself a gentle ear rub to focus on increasing hearing/listening skills. Piret, an expressive and engaging storyteller, brings humor to her delivery. A soundtrack with chirping crickets, exploding thunder, music, and other sounds enhances the mood. A fun and ingenious approach to getting kids moving!

– Constance Dickerson, Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library, OH.

 

School Library Journal Review May 2011

Scooter & Me: Heart Series – 3 DVDs for Calm Caring and Confidence

Through story-based exercises, the instructor takes viewers through a warm-up, a story with movement segment, a relaxation exercise, and a skill review wrap-up on each of these DVDs. Viewers follow along with the fun yoga-like moves that perfectly complement the adventure story being told. The instructor and a small group of children giggle and smile their way through the exercises. Children pretend to be different animals and perform various movements as they listen to the tales of a boy and his scooter and the adventures they have together. Designed to encourage physical, cognitive, and emotional development, the program should help children learn how to channel their emotions through flexibility, strength, balance, and coordination exercises. In “Tortoise, Hare, and Dragon,” the concept of perseverance introduces “elephant wisdom,” a skill that helps the children focus on their auditory system, as well as “cat wisdom,” which concentrates on stress relief. “Coral Reef” deals with acceptance while encouraging youngsters to focus on their breathing and cross-motor coordination. “A Beautiful Dream” highlights relationships while revisiting all the skills from previous stories. The excellent guide provides background information on the series, detailed descriptions of each adventure skill, and tips for incorporating them into children’s lifestyles. An engaging series for use at home and at school.

– Cathie Bashaw Morton, Millbrook Central School District, NY

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