About the BookTitle: Good Night, Animal World: A Kids Yoga Bedtime Story | Author: Giselle Shardlow | Illustrator: Emily Gedzyk | Publication Date: September 20, 2013 | Publisher: Company: Kids Yoga Stories LLC | Pages: 32 | Recommended Ages: 2.5 to 6 years Summary: Say good night to the animals of the world! Calm your mind and body before bedtime by taking a journey around the world with this kids yoga storybook. 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. Learn something new, explore movement, and unwind together before bedtime!
Interview with Giselle Shardlow
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I always wanted to be a teacher, even when I was very young. As a preteen, I babysat and helped coach other young figure skaters. In the summers, I worked with primary school-aged children at a day camp. I remember the rewarding feeling of impacting children’s learning. Working with children has always been my passion.
What inspired you to write books?
I’ve practiced yoga since I was a little girl doing yoga with my mother. After I took yoga teacher training in 2005, I saw the possibility of bringing this ancient wisdom to children in a fun and meaningful way. At that time, I had been teaching internationally for eight years, and I’d always pondered what makes children happy. I noticed that movement, storytelling, and bonding together (link: http://www.kidsyogastories.com/free-resources/benefits) brought them joy. So I began to write yoga stories that incorporated my teaching, traveling, and yoga experience. The outlines for the stories flooded out onto the paper. Once I was inspired to write the stories, I couldn’t stop!
What is the best compliment you’ve received as an author?
The best compliments come from parents and teachers whose children and students love going on pretend journeys around the world through movement and story. Seeing pictures of children in yoga poses always warms my heart. Parents are happy that their children are engaging in healthy activities while reading and having fun. I love that the books provide a win-win for the adults and children.
But, the best email I received from a customer was regarding the book Good Night, Animal World(link: http://www.kidsyogastories.com/product/good-night-animal-world/ ). A mom wrote to say that her family was going through a relocation, and their lives were unsettled, stressful, and uncertain. She went on to say that the bedtime yoga story had become a nightly routine and served as a stable activity for her young child. After reading and acting out the animal poses, her daughter fell asleep peacefully without the stresses of their current situation. That email will stay with me forever.
What is the toughest criticism you’ve received as an author?
Great timing! I recently met with a book critic who critiqued each of the yoga stories for their layout, illustrations, writing, and front covers. It was tough to hear someone go through each book with such criticism, but I was very grateful to have honest and direct feedback. My goal is to significantly improve each book that I write, so her constructive criticism was just what I needed to hear.
How do you react to a bad review?
To be honest, I have been blessed with positive reviews since publishing the books. However, one of the Spanish-language yoga books did receive a bad review on Amazon. The customer described a printing issue with the book. I immediately called my publisher and Amazon, but unfortunately, due to privacy issues (which were understandable), I couldn’t do anything to help the customer. I wrote a comment on her review that I would personally send her a new copy, but I didn’t hear back. That situation broke my heart. I certainly hope that Amazon helped her obtain a new copy.
What advice would you give aspiring children’s book authors?
Do it! As a former teacher, I think there is lots of room for quality children’s literature with a positive life message. Every book that I read to the children in the classroom had a teachable moment, led to a stimulating discussion, or led into an extension activity. I used books as springboards for discussion about the world.
When I write my yoga stories (link: http://www.kidsyogastories.com/store ), I think about 4 P’s: passion, purpose, people, and progressiveness. Am I writing about something that I’m passionate about? What’s the purpose of the book? How does the book make a difference to the people who are reading the book? Is the book unique, creative, and progressive? Thinking of these four components helps keep me focused and ensures that the books are beneficial to the readers.
My advice to aspiring children’s book writers is to write books that might impact the world in a positive way. Write from your heart and get lots of feedback from family and friends. Keep writing, sharing, and editing to continuously improve your stories. Remember that writing your book is only the first step; spreading the word about your book is both challenging and rewarding. Most importantly, just start, and when you’ve started, keep going!
Kids Yoga Stories
"This book has been so amazing for my 2.5 year old daughter! The illustrations are adorable! She is always so rambunctious at bedtime and this lets her get out some of that excess energy. She loves the book so much that this has been one we read every night. It helps my daughter fall asleep faster which means more time for mom in the evenings." ~ 5 Star Review, cwalt047, Amazon
"Another GREAT book!! I used this book for my kids yoga classes for ages 2-5 years old. After a very active yoga class, we read this book and did the yoga poses before the resting portion of the class. My little yogis loved the pictures and saying Good Night to all of the animals one by one. I played a calming song with some animal noises in the background and we were then able to quiet our minds and bodies for the pose of rest. I think this will become a regular pre-resting story for my classes with this age group. My 5 year old son loves to read this book again and again too! Keep the great books coming!" ~ 5 Star Review, Stacy Daniels - Kids Yoga Teacher, Amazon
"What a delightful book to get young children reading and moving in a wind-down, calming story about saying goodnight to the animals of the world. I am a k-12 Reading Certified teacher who blogs about parenting at The Educator's Spin On It. I am big fan of literacy activities that combine movement and geography in a loving parent / child interaction experience and Good night, Animal World does just that. This book would be a great addition to your book shelf." ~ 5 Star Review, Amanda at The Educators' Spin On It, Amazon
About the Author: Giselle Shardlow
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 found at www.kidsyogastories.com or on Amazon (amazon.com/author/giselleshardlow) worldwide.