Monday, April 10, 2017

Stretch! Yoga Bunny by Brian Russo

One morning Bunny crawled out of his hole, rubbing his eyes.

"This is a perfect morning to do yoga!" he said.

Just as Bunny goes into his first pose, Lizard comes scampering by. Bunny sees that, even early in the day, his friend is irascible and already tuckered out.

"Good morning, Lizard. Would you like to do Yoga with me?" said Bunny.

But Lizard is frazzled. He absolutely hates mornings, and and the last thing he wants to do is to salute the sun!

Bunny is disappointed, but he soothes his feelings by doing a downward dog. Just then Fox flies by, obviously in a terrible rush to get somewhere or other.

"Out of my way, Bunny!" he said.

Fox is surely in no mood to slow down, so Bunny goes back to his solitary poses, choosing a stately tree pose. Just then Bird flaps down, landing unceremoniously on Bunny's head, hiccuping repeatedly.

"Make them STOP!" he squawked.

Bird flutters away, his hiccups growing fainter. Bunny shrugs. He's tried, but his friends are having none of his calming poses and his advice, so he continues alone. He strikes a strong warrior pose.

And just then he notices that he has a circle of admirers--a group of bright-eyed mice who try to go into the pose with him. If only his frantic friends would do likewise!

And persistence pays off, in Brian Russo's Yoga Bunny (HarperCollins, 2017), in which even Lizard, Fox, and Bird finally find solace in Bunny's therapeutic poses. Russo's simple story is deftly illustrated with charmingly conceived illustrations, done in a delicate blackline with digitally applied "watercolors," which illustrate some of the best-known Yoga poses for youngsters, who will want to get into the act long before Fox, Lizard, and Bird join the session. Endpapers reveal Bunny demonstrating 32 additional poses for young yoga fans. Says Kirkus Reviews, "The uncluttered white pages with just a hint of grass and little pink flowers under each animal's feet ground the images and mirror Bunny's inner calm."

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