Mindfulness for busy bunnies
Every Bunny is a Yoga Bunny by Emily Ann Davison and Deborah Allwright, Nosy Crow, March 2022
What's it about? Yo-Yo is a busy 'can't-sit-still-ever' type of bunny. She bounds around with endless energy and finds it difficult to wind down at bedtime. Luckily, Yo-Yo's grandpa has a technique to help her feel calmer. Grandpa tries to each Yo-Yo some yoga. It's difficult for her to stay focused and resist the urge to wriggle and giggle. But when Yo-Yo finds herself in trouble, Grandpa's instructions come back to her. Yoga helps Yo-Yo to stay grounded and avoid panicking so that she can find a solution to her problem.
What can we learn? This story gently introduces easy yoga positions for readers to practise themselves. Yoga doesn't come naturally to Yo-Yo and she initially finds it challenging, but she eventually masters it. This demonstrates how, with a little perseverance, there's nothing we can't do. It's a wonderfully reassuring AND empowering tale. When Yo-Yo is in difficulty, she is able to find her way out of it herself, using the skills she has learned. This shows children that they might be more capable than they realise.
What makes this stand out?
Yo-Yo is such an endearing character and Deborah Allwright's illustrations are incredibly cute. Even though there's lots of learning packed into each page, the story never feels forced or heavy-handed. It includes some repetition, with the phrase 'Oh, Yo-Yo!' appearing often. This will appeal to the very young who will enjoy saying it along with the characters too.
About those illustrations... Deborah Allwright is one of our favourite artists and I've purchased books purely on the basis that they were illustrated by her. Deborah's work is always animated and cheerful, with plenty of amusing and interesting details. This particular story is bursting with the beauty of spring. Dandelion seeds drift by and apple blossoms bloom. Frogs, bees, butterflies, ladybirds, snails and lots more minibeasts frolic in the lush greenery and there are so many pretty wildflowers. We love the bunny family's burrow and how we get a glimpse below ground.
Why we love it... As well as being an adorable and uplifting story, with gorgeous illustrations, we have found this book really practical too. My eldest, who will be seven soon, is very similar to Yo-Yo. She gets very energetic and talkative at bedtime and has a remarkable ability to resist sleep. We have been practising Grandpa's moves in the evenings to help her relax and it has made a huge difference so far. She is falling asleep around half an hour earlier than usual and doesn't seem as 'wired' at night. She also loves reading the book herself and has been carrying it around and trying to follow the moves on her own.
Why you need it... Yoga has been of enormous benefit to me but I came to it relatively late. It would have been amazing to have a story like this when I was a child. It not only brings yoga to life but helps little readers to incorporate it into their daily routine without much effort. In addition to what Yo-Yo learns from Grandpa, there are three pages of more detailed, but still easy to follow, instructions at the back of the book. Every Bunny is a Yoga Bunny would make a fantastic resource in schools and nurseries as well as at home. Every child is sure to be a yoga bunny fan!
About the author:
Emily Ann Davison spent her childhood writing poems and stories so it’s no surprise that she became an author, it just took her a little while to get there. As a grown-up, Emily worked with young children for many years, and her passion for children’s books grew and grew and grew, until one day, a story idea popped into her head. Now the ideas won’t stop popping! When she isn’t writing, she can be found tinkling on the piano or at her local primary school, where she helps with reading. Emily lives in the Garden of England, Kent, with her daughter and husband. She is never seen without a cup of tea. Learn more about Emily on her website: emilyanndavison.com
About the illustrator: Deborah started illustrating as a child and now has more than 40 picture books and several awards with her name on them. She lives in London with her partner and two cats and when she’s not drawing, painting or snipping paper, you’ll find her messing around with horses, messing around in the sea, or searching for bats and moths. Find more of her work on her website: deborahallwright.com Read an interview with Emily and Deborah about this book As with all Nosy Crow picture books, this comes with a free 'Stories Aloud' smartphone audiobook.
Every Bunny is a Yoga Bunny was published by Nosy Crow, in partnership with the National Trust, in March 2022 - see this book on the publisher's website Thanks so much to the lovely people in Nosy Crow for kindly sharing this story with us - all opinions expressed are our own. #spring