Monday, March 10, 2014

"Good Night, Animal World: A Kids Yoga Bedtime Story" by Giselle Shardlow

Good Night, Animal World:
A Kids Yoga Bedtime Story
by Giselle Shardlow

Good Night, Animal World, the latest in Giselle Shardlow's Kids Yoga Stories series is currently on tour with Mother Daughter Book Promotions. The tour stops here today for my review and interview with the author. You can also enter the giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card (or PayPal cash). Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

You can get a discount of 20% off the current sale prices on all of the Kids Yoga Stories books on the official website. Simply enter coupon code marchtour before you check out and you will receive 20% off the cart value. The coupon expires on 1 April 2014. Note that the 20% off will be on top of the current sale prices.

Calm your mind and body before bedtime by taking a journey around the world with this kids yoga storybook.
Say good night to the animals of the world! Join six Kids Yoga Stories characters as you perch like a bald eagle, crouch like a tiger, and curl up like a sloth.
The book includes a list of Kids Yoga Poses and a Parent Guide with tips on creating a successful bedtime experience. Recommended for toddlers and preschoolers (ages 2.5 to 6).
Learn something new, explore movement, and unwind together before bedtime!

Book Trailer

Six children from around the world say goodnight to native animals by performing yoga poses that reminds us of these animals. For example, Luke from Australia demonstrates the Kangaroo pose. There are twelve animal poses in all, followed by the resting pose, all designed to help kids relax before bedtime.
There are a number of handy extras at the end:
  • A world map showing us where we can locate each of the featured animals,
  • A list of all the featured yoga poses, and
  • A guide for parents, including how to prepare a safe and quiet environment for your bedtime yoga and tips on how to establish a bedtime routine for your children.
This is an informative and educational book, teaching us not only about yoga, but about animals and geography. The simple but effective drawings accurately portray each of the animals, while small inserts show the cute children performing the poses.
I think this whole series is a fabulous idea, and I wish something like this was available when my kids were younger. This series is sure to be a hit with both parents and pre-school teachers. Don't forget to check out the free stuff on the website to continue your yoga experience with your children.

Interview With the Author
Hi, Giselle, thanks for joining me today to discuss your new book, Good Night, Animal World.
For what age group do you recommend your book?
This yoga bedtime book is aimed at toddlers and preschoolers. My two-year-old loves practicing the animal yoga poses at bedtime.
What sparked the idea for this book?
I wanted to create a bedtime book for my daughter that involved movement, so that she could use up her extra energy at the end of the day. She’s a lively spirit! Also, she loves animals. And I wanted to introduce the idea of saying good night to animals around the world so we could begin to talk about different countries and about children getting ready for bed everywhere.
Which comes first? The character or the idea for the story?
The ideas come first for each of these books. I always start with a topic. Then I create a yoga sequence before the story because it’s important for the yoga poses to flow. Finally, I choose a yoga kid to guide us through the poses and develop a story that fits the character.
What was the hardest part to write in this book?
I always find the final edits of the descriptive words the most difficult part of the process. Finding poetic words that are also effective in a read-aloud story can be extremely difficult. A thesaurus comes in very handy during the final edits.
How do you hope this book affects its readers?
I hope that little ones sleep better after reading and acting out this book. I’ve seen the benefits of movement before bedtime in my daughter, and I hope the book helps other families, too.
How long did it take you to write this book?
Turning the book from a rough idea into a story ready for the illustrator took about six months.
What is your writing routine?
My writing routine is somewhat atypical. I am a stay-at-home mom, and I work during naptimes or in the evening. However, my daughter is in the process of dropping her afternoon nap, which has massively affected my writing time. Most of my writing projects are articles, blog posts, interviews, and guest posts. I have a notepad where I keep all my ideas before typing them out. I spend more time thinking and planning out the stories than I actually spend writing. I think better with pencil and paper!
How did you get your book published?
I self-publish my yoga stories with CreateSpace, an Amazon company. And I work with my own editor and illustrator.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
Do it! I think of 4 P’s: passion, purpose, people, and progression. I focus on writing with passion and purpose. I want my books to have an impact on the world or share a teachable moment. I always think about the people who will be reading the books, and there has to be something of value for both the adults and children in my stories. The books have to be unique and creative so that they invite readers to think in a different way or learn something new. My best advice to prospective writers would be to start sharing your work with a few people, accept their feedback, and make changes. Then share with a few more people and make changes. Continue on like that while expanding the sharing circle. Customer feedback is crucial.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
When I’m not writing, I love to read, be outdoors, be with family and friends, travel, and practice yoga.
What does your family think of your writing?
My family is extremely proud of me for pursuing my passion. I come from a family of readers, so we all place a lot of emphasis on quality literature. Kids Yoga Stories has definitely been a family business. I couldn’t have done this without the support of my loved ones. All of my family members are involved in some way, whether it’s offering technical advice, strategic advice, fulfilling book orders, or offering story feedback.
Please tell us a bit about your childhood.
My British parents raised me on a hobby farm in the middle of Canada. Life was simple and idyllic. My brother and I played in our gigantic sandpit, chased after butterflies, rode on a raft on our pond, visited the animals in the barn, and practiced yoga with my mom.
Sounds wonderful! Did you like reading when you were a child?
Yes, absolutely! My mom instilled a love of reading into my brother and me. She used to read to us for hours. She was a librarian at the time and has a deep passion for books. I remember winning a reading contest in Grade 1 because I had read the most books. Now, it’s fun to read some of our old favorites to my daughter.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
After I took yoga teacher training in 2005, I was struck by the idea of combining my years of teaching with writing children’s books. The ideas to create yoga stories came flooding out of me, literally. I stayed up late on numerous occasions to write down book outlines. Then, I took a writing for children course by a famous Australian children’s author. I consider myself an avid reader, but I had to build my confidence as a writer.
Do your childhood experiences influence your writing?
Yes! When I look back on my childhood, I realize that Kids Yoga Stories is an accumulation of all of my life experiences. It’s pretty surreal. I practiced yoga with my mom as a young child. We poured over children’s books with great passion and excitement. We traveled together as a family. We spent a lot of time in nature. My books combine all of my life’s passions: travel, books, nature, and yoga.
Fantastic! Which writers have influenced you the most?
So many! As a teacher, I always looked for books with a purpose or a message. Each book that I read to my students had to have a lesson or naturally offer ways to extend their learning. I love the Magic School Bus series because they teach children about science in a fun, engaging way.  I love Robert Munsch for his humorous, light-hearted books. I’ve always loved Jonathan London’s Froggy book series for the illustrations and funny stories. As a mom, I’ve fallen in love with early childhood writers like Karma Wilson (Bear books), Giles Andreae, Laurie Krebs, Sandra Boynton, Mem Fox, Eric Carle, and Bill Martin Jr. I tend to gravitate toward authors who have written several books. I admire writers who can write flawlessly rhyming books. My writing teacher told the class not to try to write with rhyme, ever, because so few people really have the gift to do it well.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
The readers of the Kids Yoga Stories books are extremely loyal and share my passion for children’s health and literacy. They call the books unique, creative, playful, and interactive. They love that their children are learning about world cultures and the environment through healthy activities. A lot of readers comment on the parent-teacher resource guide at the back of the books, citing it as an excellent resource in teaching yoga to children. Parents and teachers have been asking for supporting material, like yoga cards and posters, which we are in the process of creating. Readers most enjoy that children can read the yoga books together and act out the poses by following along with the yoga kids’ demonstration on each page. They see how children love integrating movement with meaningful stories - it’s a natural combination. 
What can we look forward to from you in the future?
I am currently working on a number of yoga stories for toddlers and preschoolers. The next book, Hello, Bali, takes the reader on a journey through the majestic Indonesian island with energetic yoga poses. I aim to publish the books quickly so that I can use the books with my daughter as she learns the First Concepts in preparation for preschool.
Sounds great. Thank you for taking the time to stop by today, Giselle. Best of luck with your future projects.

About the Author
Giselle Shardlow is the author of Kids Yoga Stories. Her yoga-inspired children’s books get children moving, learning, and having fun. Giselle draws from her experiences as a teacher, traveler, yogi, and mom to write the stories. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and daughter.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card (or PayPal cash