Although the heart may sink when a celebrity name appears on the front cover, Fearne Cotton is a hands-on mother of two small children, so she does understand the pressures of family life, and she pitches this well for those who do yoga and might practice at home or attend an inclusive class. In her introduction she explains that the text and illustrations have been approved by a qualified yoga instructor, and warns that this is a book to be shared, so it is not recommended that children perform any of the exercises unsupervised.
It’s not just for ‘yummy mummies’- there is a Dad doing the ‘cat’ with his identically curly haired son, and Prakash and his Granny enjoy stretching on the floor. The text is in rhyme: “Maya’s made a clever bridge, see how she’s arched her back. Who’s pushed his car right under her? Cheeky brother Jack!” Children may soon get to know the rhymes if they have this read to them regularly. Sophie and her family are having a dreadful day, but getting on the floor to do some yoga makes them all feel better, and the baby goes to sleep: that might be worth a try.
Sheena Dempsey’s illustrations are fun, and show some realistically untidy households, just as they tend to be in the daytime with children around. There are drawings on paper (and on walls), toys and socks on the floor, drinking cups handy, and some interesting detail to spot. Rex has long hair, a guitar and a small piano– his is a musical family. Maya and Jack are mixed race, with their white Mum helping them do yoga in front of a map of Africa on the wall. The children are indeed mixed: Emily and Prakash are Asian, Winnie and her family are possibly Afro-Caribbean, Tom and Sam are twins. The children are all named and illustrated on the front end-papers, with the exercises similarly demonstrated on the back end-papers. This is a fun book with serious intentions, and could be useful for parents and in libraries.