Maria Explores the Ocean (English)

Rated 4.61 out of 5 based on 70 customer ratings
(70 customer reviews)


Dive in to learn about Pacific Ocean animals through ocean yoga poses for kids!

Join Maria as she explores the ocean with her granddad. Glide like a manta ray, float like a jellyfish, and cruise like a parrotfish. Learn what’s under the water, act out ocean animals, and practice colors! Age group: Toddler, preschoolers ages 2-5.


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Sample Pages

70 reviews for Maria Explores the Ocean (English)

  1. Rated 4 out of 5

    Nicola Foxe

    This is the first of Giselle Shardlow’s books that I have the pleasure of reviewing. I found the book easy to follow and engaging. I really liked the illustrations and having colours and educational points make up the pages is an important part of learning, reading and fun. I particularly liked how the yoga poses were integrated into each page and how they are depicted in a small yet clear illustration on each page. I thought this book would be ideal for preschoolers in terms of simplicity and how easy it is to follow. While I love this book, I do believe it lacks a little in terms of adventure or ‘magic’ in the story element of the book and for that reason I don’t think it would work as well for older children given this simplicity of content, although the illustrations and yoga poses would work very well. Thank you so much for the opportunity to review. I will most definitely use Giselle Shardlow’s books again in my work.

  2. Rated 5 out of 5


    My children love anything to do with the ocean, so when I showed them this book they were really excited. My children range from 10 to 1 year, so when I pulled out this book and told them there was yoga involved they couldn’t wait for me to read it.
    As I read through the pages and showed them the poses they were more than happy to do the poses with me. Even the little ones tried to copy the bigger kids. They enjoyed how interactive this book was and asked for more books like it. I feel like they are getting so much more than just a story. It is a great bonding experience as well as beneficial to their well being on many levels!!

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    Suzie Djidjoli

    I am a preschool speech-language pathologist who works with students who also often have sensory differences and motor delays. I have recently started using yoga as a teaching vehicle for improving language and that is how I discovered Giselle Shardlow’s website and books. The aspect I love most about this book is that it can be used to work on so many different language concepts: ocean animal names, action words, colors, physical descriptors – the list goes on! The added benefit of infusing movement and direction following into the learning activity through yoga makes the concepts even more salient to young learners. My only critique is that for students who are just learning colors, they may be confused when by the colors in the story, which don’t always exactly match the stated color. For example, the “black ray” is really more of a dark grey and the “red seahorse” looks orangey-peach. I can’t wait to use this book with my students in the fall and eagerly look forward to exploring more of Giselle Shardlow’s books to use with different thematic units throughout the year!

  4. Rated 5 out of 5


    Maria Explores The Ocean is a fantastic way to teach all kids young and younger about two things, yoga asana and each person’s relationship to the environment. I enjoyed reading this book and will enjoy reading it with my children and students. As an educator using this book will teach intertextuality, the practice of cognitive flexibility and narrative representation. Whether kids practice the asana poses as the story is read to them or practice the poses after reading the story they will gain a deep appreciation for each pose and reflect on its meaning in terms of the environment. I am thankful for having read this book.

  5. Rated 5 out of 5

    Gayle Kearney-Doyle

    This book follows Maria as she goes on an underwater adventure with her grandfather. The reader explores the underwater world with her and learns all about sea creatures and their habitat. The learning comes alive through movement. There is a simple illustrated yoga pose for each page of the story. This makes it easy to follow. There is a supplementary list of yoga poses with illustrations and directions which is very useful. To compliment the theme of the book there is advice on how to care for the sea too.

    Overall this book is fun and interactive. As a parent and a child psychotherapist, I highly recommend this book. It encourages self awareness, fun breath work, and relaxation. It will become part of my library of resources in work for using with children and with groups. At home it has immediately become a firm favourite with my 2 children.

    Thank you for this beautifully illustrated and wonderful book.

  6. Rated 5 out of 5

    Victoria N.

    ‘Maria Explores the Ocean’ is a beautifully gentle story set within a colourful underwater scene, in which Maria and her grandfather explore the wonders of the ocean together. True to the purpose of Giselle Shardlow’s yoga stories it integrates movement, reading, and a whole lot of fun for young and mature yogis alike!

    This book has a good rythym and is beautifully illustrated, with a demonstration of each pose in the top corner as a super simple and easy-to-follow cue. As a toddler yoga teacher, I especially enjoyed the balance of asanas which cleverly resembled each animal and this resounded even with my 20 month old daughter. But best of all, the tips supplied for each of the poses along with encouragement from the author to be lighthearted and fun, allowing the children time to let their imagination run wild in each pose, is priceless. Just imagine darting through the water like a fish in Locust Pose or floating on your back like an otter in Happy Baby Pose…so much fun and smiles all round!

    You’ll certainly feel connected, energised and joyful after practicing this together with your child/children but the benefits reach further than that. It helps to develop breath awareness through the action of inhaling and exhaling in a light-hearted way.

    Most importantly, in a world that seemingly ‘never shuts off’, relaxation techniques give children a way to deal with stress. The reader is encouraged to reinforce the benefits and importance of quiet time for their minds and bodies and to introduce meditation (which can be as simple as sitting quietly for a couple of minutes), as a way to bring stillness to their highly stimulated lives.

    Highly recommended for a toddler yoga class, school class or simply at home with your little one…no previous yoga experience is required. Love this book!

  7. Rated 4 out of 5

    Jaya Dharamdasani

    The book is very vibrant and attractive. The kids who grasp concepts visually would absolutely love this book! The postures are very well illustrated and blend in so beautifully. Looking forward to your publications in future.

  8. Rated 5 out of 5

    sherri eberle

    Sherri- August 9, 2016

    Fantastic! The incorporation of sea life facts, colors and movement in brilliant! The illustrations are stunning! I will use this with my kindergarten classes, I will give each of them a colored scarf and have them do the poses according to color first, then as a class together to make a “show” of this book. How fun!

  9. Rated 5 out of 5


    Absolutely love this book. Love the way Maria explores the ocean and each of the sea creatures she encounters are the same as the yoga pose on that specific part of the story. My daughter will love this as she is enjoying yoga thanks to Giselles other books and now we have a new adventure to share

  10. Rated 5 out of 5

    Brandy Merinar

    Second book I have received. The pictures are beautiful and really keep kids engaged. My kiddos love to demonstrate the poses while we are reading to book and they remember the poses and story, wanting to demonstrate throughout the day. Can’t wait to read this to my school kiddos once we get back to school. Thanks again for a beautiful book!!

  11. Rated 5 out of 5

    Deb G

    Maria Explores the Ocean is a phenomenal book from Giselle Shardlow. I absolutely loved this book. I will definitely be incorporating this into my classroom. The yoga poses correspond with each animal. These poses really look the animal that they represent. One could incorporate this into a preschool, kindergarten, and up through a third classroom. I cannot wait to use this in my Pre-K classroom. There is also included a Parent-Teacher Guide provided at the end of the book. Anyone can use this book and the poses are explained thoroughly. You and your children will absolutely love this book. I full recommend this and any other stories by Giselle Shardlow.

  12. Rated 5 out of 5

    Joanne Cardamone

    I’m such a fan of Giselle Shardlow. Her books are filled with moments, colours and learnings. In this book, Maria Explores the Ocean, the colours are brilliant and so vibrant of all the creatures in the sea. such a wonderful book which shows a girl exploring with her granddad. It’s amazing all the sea animals my daughter has learnt from this. I also love how each animal that is found has a corresponding yoga pose. This is fantastic because my daughter loves yoga and integrating this as we read lets her learn more poses and associate them with the different animals. After the story has finished, there is a list of the poses with a guide on to ensure children do these yoga poses safety. Also included as part of this wonderful educated book, are 10 ways to save the ocean (this is a great discussion point with my daughter) and also a Parent-Teacher guide which takes this further at schools.

  13. Rated 4 out of 5

    Jeanette Runnings/Yoga-Yingo

    The story is straight forward and informative. It gives a nice introduction to ocean creatures and ecology. It will make a good book for an earth day or ocean lesson. The illustrations are beautiful and will capture kids’ attention. I found having dolphin pose and no dolphin troublesome. Dolphin pose was instead matched up with the shark. As a kids yoga instructor, I have found books often don’t match up poses uniformly or consistently the same way. I would’ve chose locust for the shark with hands clasped behind back for a fin so kids could show me their “shark teeth”, and had fish pose for the parrot fish instead of locust. All in all though enjoyable. I find kids like to be active and this makes for an enjoyable interactive story time.

  14. Rated 3 out of 5


    Maria Explores the Ocean is a lovely book that shares yoga poses through colorful pictures. It talks about different ocean creatures that can help kids remember the poses faster.
    I like that the text is concise and the focus is on having fun while trying the poses out. As it is geared to smaller kids the book is lacking some breathing poses, however, the author does include it in tips for parents/teachers.

  15. Rated 5 out of 5

    Marta Teixeira

    Loved the book, simple story as I believe it’s best, colourfull illustrations and a great message!
    Looking forward to try it with my students!

  16. Rated 5 out of 5


    Another Great Resources from Kids Yoga Story!
    By Eleanor (Early Childhood educator and kids yoga instructor)
    The author has written an engaging story with beautiful illustrations that will certainly draw children into this underwater adventure. The story of a smart young girl, Maria, flows well as it introduces many teachable concepts such as colors, marine animals, environmental stewardship, and of course yoga! Weather in a pubic school or yoga studio, Maria Explores the Ocean is a valuable book that lends itself to many different lesson plans and activities!
    The book’s strength is the wealth of resources for both yoga teachers and interested parents.
    Some examples include:
    * the user friendly introduction with helpful hints on “ How to use this Yoga Book for Kids”
    * well-written descriptions and clear pictures of the featured yoga poses
    * additional tips for saving the ocean
    * helpful Parent-Teacher guide.

  17. Rated 4 out of 5


    A beautifully illustrated book with a lovely story line where Maria and her grandfather explore the ocean together. It is both educational and informative, introducing young readers to colors and marine life under the sea with facts about the sea creatures. I love how it introduces the idea of conservation to young children in a fun way and teaches them to respect their environment.
    My only criticism would be that I found it hard to connect some of the characters or situations in the story with the chosen pose but the explanations at the back of the book did add some clarity. It would be fun for children to use their imaginations to understand why those poses were chosen.
    All in all, a lovely story for children to learn about yoga as well as to understand and care about life under the sea.

  18. Rated 5 out of 5

    Shirley O’ Connor

    A wonderful book to have in your classroom and to use when teaching yoga to children. The children in my class adore this book; they love the pictures, the information on each page and using their imaginations to pretend to be the diifernt sea creatures. I have used this book during PE, for inspiration during art and to link up with a sea life project we completed.
    Each page is beautiful and contains facts and information that children love. The yoga poses are easy to follow with the right balance of imagination and education.
    In my Kids Yoga Classes the yoinger children loved listening to the story and following it, they asked for it every week since I introduced it. The older kids enjoyed the facts and information and have added to the story by imaginaing other sea animals the might see on their own underwater adventure. This book offers a lot of oportunities to link up the curriculum and to be used in extension activties.

  19. Rated 4 out of 5


    It is the first book I have read from Giselle Shardlow and it will not be the last! As a kids yoga teacher it always interesting and fun to see how one can approach a certain theme and the ideas I took from the book arevery helpful. My kids didn’t like the book so much maybe because they are already older and experienced divers but for preschoolers I would highly recommend the book.
    I just love how the information about our planet is wooven into a great story and combined with the yoga moves.
    Some of the colors are as mentioned in other reviews a bit dull but I really like the illustartions as they have a very gentle and calming impact whilst reading/looking at them.
    The explanations at the end for teachers/parents are clear and easy to follow.

    Thumbs up…keep up with these great books!

  20. Rated 5 out of 5

    Kalli Suga

    Maria Explores the Ocean is an entertaining and enlightening book, which has a number of different applications. The Book has been published under the Kids Yoga Stories series and opens the possibilities of teaching children different yoga poses. As a children’s’ yoga teacher, I appreciated that multiple positions were described thoroughly and illustrated with pictures. Yoga Stories allows children to develop their imagination and make yoga more fun as well a pleasurable activity, that supports both the physical and the mental well-being.

    Maria Explores the Ocean takes you on an exciting journey into an adventurous underwater world of magic, where you can acquire plenty of new knowledge about creatures living in the ocean, while also studying colours.

    Grandfathers heart-warming teachings to Maria, as well as the 10 ways to protect the ocean make this creation a real pearl.

    I recommend this book to parents and teachers, as a beautiful example, how to cover important issues with children in a memorable and playful way, through the beautiful moments of children’s yoga. Have a wonderful time together!

    Thank you Giselle Shardlow and Kids Yoga Stories

    Kalli Suga
    Kids Yoga teacher

  21. Rated 4 out of 5

    Laura Selin

    “Maria Explores the Ocean” is a quality kids yoga book that introduces preschoolers to ocean animals & helps them use their imagination to relate yoga poses to each animal in the book. The author does a great job of giving parents/teachers tips on how to use the book & ways to talk about ocean sustainability. I thought the book was more informative about animals and less about identifying colors in the ocean. Preschoolers may have a difficult time differentiating the colors, which I thought were either muted or slightly different from what kids are use to seeing as “pink” or blue”. Despite the confusion of colors & how they play a part in the book, it’s a great way to get kids to explore different yoga poses & find ways that their body can reflect something else.

  22. Rated 5 out of 5


    I shared this book with my summer school kids (incoming kindergarten students) during an ocean theme week. It was PERFECT! Beautiful illustrations…wonderful yoga poses to match colors and animals. After the story the kids requested to “Do It Again!” The story was interactive which I love and my students really enjoy. Through our ocean theme week we discussed different sea animals, and then to see them in the story was a great culminating activity. The kids challenged themselves in the poses. They changed the sea star pose to spread out all body parts like a starfish 🙂
    The beginning of the book gives suggestions on how to read it: poses first then read…we actually did the opposite because the kids liked to call out the animals first. At the end of the books, the author listed suggestions to Save the Oceans. This is a GREAT resource for any Ocean theme unit!

  23. Rated 5 out of 5


    This book is a gorgeously illustrated and really well done book that not only captures the imagination, but also helps you get some great activity into your daily routine. I love books in general. My children love to be read to. This book is so much fun because the ocean is such an unknown. There are so many lifeforms, colors, and beautiful things to appreciate. They love sea life and loved reading this book. But the yoga poses add something new and special. I also appreciate the glossary of yoga poses at the end so that we can through all of them at the end again easily.

  24. Rated 5 out of 5

    Julie Vaccaro

    I LOVED sharing this book with my children’s meditation class this week and I look forward to ordering more! I live in Florida, and although I am not near the Pacific Ocean, I do live near the Ocean, so the children were able to relate to the animals and even shared some of their own pose ideas. The pose sequence at the end of the story was especially helpful and after reading through the story and stopping to do the yoga poses, we were able to combine all of the poses into a fun sequence afterwards!!! Thank you Giselle for writing these beautiful books for children!

  25. Rated 5 out of 5

    Jackie Smith

    Maria Explores the Ocean is another one of Giselle’s fun and interactive books. Last year I met Giselle and was introduced to her fabulous books that incorporate imagination, play and movement into the learning process. I originally bought this book to share with my grand daughter and have ended up incorporating it into many of my lesson plans for children of all ages. The pictures and the colors make you smile, the yoga poses are fun and easy to do, the book initiates a great conversation about the ocean, ocean animals and the environment. I recommend this book to parents and educators alike

  26. Rated 5 out of 5

    Megan (breathe.flow.grow yoga)

    Giselle Shardlow’s “Maria Explores the Ocean” presents a fun and creative way to not only introduce ocean animals, but colors as well, to preschool-aged children all while incorporating yoga poses that provide ample opportunity for children’s creative expression of each pose and animal (and could even entertain some “older” elementary aged as well!). The illustrations by Vicky Bowes are just gorgeous, perfect for an undersea adventure! For anyone looking for ways to incorporate learning with yoga or that may be new to teaching children’s yoga, insight and instructions are provided as to how to use the book with children, how to instruct the children into the poses, and a parent-teacher guide. The “10 Ways to Save the Ocean” is the perfect jumping off point to incorporate mindfulness into any classroom or studio, providing suggestions for children on ways they can help save the oceans. I cannot wait to incorporate this into my next kids yoga class!

  27. Rated 4 out of 5

    Jane Collins

    The book is certainly inviting, leading you through an engaging journey. The yoga poses are nicely integrated into the story which is motivating. I had to use the ‘how to practice yoga poses’ section to lead children into the poses which required extra planning or interrupted the continuity of the story. The book was an enjoyable experience and good to refocus children, or use as a warmup/cool down.

  28. Rated 4 out of 5


    What a wonderful book to explore the ocean creatures with my class. The illustrations are beautiful and colourful. We had a great time discussing the ideas about the ways to safe the ocean. The ‘how to practice yoga poses’ is extremely helpful. After we have read the book and done the poses we created our own sticker collage of the ocean and the class had the opportunity to imitate their version of the underwater animals. It was great fun. Thank you for a great book Giselle! yolandie, south africa

  29. Rated 4 out of 5

    Tonja Drecker

    This is one of the better yoga books for kids that I’ve come across. The author does a fantastic job combining colorful illustrations with an interesting story and incorporating all of that with detailed and easily understood yoga stances for children.

    Maria’s journey to the ocean is packed with all sorts of interesting sea life and short adventures. Accompanied by her grandfather, the two have a lovely relationship. This adventure alone is worth reading and sure to make a great bed-time story. The added illustrations are lovingly created and colorful as a rainbow. There’s just enough details thrown in to draw in the interest which keeps those pages turning time and again.

    But the real treat are the yoga moves. In a corner of each scene, Maria is illustrated in a small circle as she holds a yoga position. It’s easy to imitate and molds in well with the story being told on the page. The invitation to imitate Maria makes it impossible not to stand up and try the move too.

    At the end, there’s a lovely collection of explanations and suggests. And in the beginning, there are also a few words of advice on how young listeners can be best lead in the story as well as the yoga moves. In other words, this is a well rounded book young listeners are sure to enjoy.

  30. Rated 4 out of 5

    Amy Chan

    For parents and teachers who are looking for ideas to introduce yoga to their little kids, “Maria Explores the Ocean: A Kids Yoga Colors Book” is a brilliant book for you!
    With children’s favorite story-telling approach, this colorful, thematic kids yoga book nicely demonstrates twelve creative yoga postures which are age-appropriate for the motor development of toddlers to preschoolers, while smartly incorporates the knowledge of color and environmental ethics (10 ways to save the ocean). Parents and teachers will find the book helpful user-friendly (the book provides large room for extended activities, and there is a Parent-Teacher Guide at the end of the book indeed), whereas children will be excited to explore the fantastic marine life (Kids are born to be curious and nature-lovers!) and enjoy the wise conversation with Maria’s granddad! I can’t wait to try out the yellow crab with my students in our class!

  31. Rated 5 out of 5

    Tania Parker

    This book is fun, interactive and colorful. It’s a great way to integrate yoga movements, learning, and global consciousness. I plan to use it with my own children and also my special needs clients. I would recommend that the pictures match the description in the guide for yoga poses as this may lead to confusion. Overall, a great book that I would recommend to parents, teacher and anyone teaching yoga to preschoolers. Well done!

  32. Rated 4 out of 5


    I love how the story allows you to do poses with children (not very difficult poses either) and also explains the importance of taking care of our environment. Many of these poses i have done with my 3 and 4 year old classes and if they are having a hard time I always provide an alternative and explain it should never hurt and only do what your body tells you to do.
    The story allows you to introduce mindfulness if you haven’t started, how actions have a domino effect. Easy for children to follow along!
    One area I was confused about was the title, why mention colours?? The illustrations were colorful and would draw children in but the title was a bit deceiving.
    All in all i enjoyed the story and could definitely use this in my classes!

  33. Rated 4 out of 5


    Great book. Giselle is tapping into that special relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren. I have taken numerous kid yoga certifications, and this book is one I would use often. How to Use this Yoga Books for Kids section is an asset for any new kids yoga teacher or parents or teachers. It will keep those wiggly Pre-K’s engaged in this underwater exploration with movement. I couldn’t give it five stars because the colors/art work didn’t seem the same quality like the other previous books.

  34. Rated 5 out of 5

    Susan Pryor

    This is a great little book – simple in its layout but full of nuggets of information and fun!
    Both adults and children of all ages will enjoy this story and the actions/activities it motivates.
    As a teacher or parent you can add to the story expanding on it both in facts about the ocean and in facts on yoga as well as the asana practice.
    I am a Kids Yoga teacher and I am using this book to add to the lessons I currently offer.
    An absolute ‘must have’ for any kids yoga teacher or any parent wishing to share the yoga journey with their kids!

  35. Rated 4 out of 5

    Roxanne W.

    It is evident that the author does, indeed, strive to guide ‘happy, healthy, & globally educated children’. While this book is a feast for the eyes with it’s beautiful, rich watercolor illustrations, it also brings real world science to life while integrating it into a full body experience by adding the thoughtful yoga poses. This book can be enjoyed again and again by focusing on different elements of the ocean, colors, and/or body’s movement. I highly recommend Maria Explores the Ocean to everyone working with & raising children.

  36. Rated 5 out of 5


    I love this book! It is a definite must have in my kids yoga collection. The pictures are gorgeous and the poses truly represent the animals in the story. What a fun and engaging way to teach kids about ocean animals!

  37. Rated 5 out of 5


    This book is a must have. I’m a daycare provider and I do a lot of yoga with the kids, especially when the weather isn’t so great. It really helps relieve the “ants in the pants” syndrome. Plus, it makes them laugh constantly.

    The story was good, and the different sea creatures kept the kids interested. They were excited to see what animal the characters were going to see next!

    What I loved most about the book were the teaching tools. Even if you have never practiced yoga you can enjoy and follow this book.

    It shows an illustration of the pose you should do on each page, and at the end of the book it lists off all of the poses in the story with their illustrations with a brief explanation on how to do the pose properly.

    Putting the whole yoga aspect aside, it has a section that has the pictures of the animals and their color. I felt that was a fun little way for the younger kids to practice their colors.

    The other thing we can do is by using the list of poses provided, and the animals, the children and I can make our own storyline up too.

  38. Rated 4 out of 5

    Constanza González Bernstein

    Giselle Congratulations ! I absolutely love the book . I just begin on reading and learning how to teach yoga to kids and It’s amazing how much you can help to make them Develop creativity and have fun!
    I think your book has a beautiful story and the way you relate the Animals with the asanas is great!
    I think we need to teach them to respect Their body and in the same way , nature .
    Thank you very much , You made a great contribution !

  39. Rated 4 out of 5

    Sudarshan Bindal

    As always,Giselle has a bestseller!Beautifully illustrated & perfect to inspire enough attention in children to take to the poses.

    Two little areas where improvements are possible
    a)More appropriate color co-ordination as it’s to familiarize children with colors-at some places the colors in bold do not do justice to those used in the pictures.
    b)I wonder if sequencing could be a bit better-starting off the session with warrior 3 seems slightly odd,not to mention level of difficulty.

  40. Rated 5 out of 5

    Kirsty Gwynn-Jones

    Maria explores the ocean’ is another great yoga book for preschoolers, with vibrant pictures, real life colour examples in an ocean setting, along with relevant and interesting facts about ocean wildlife.

  41. Rated 5 out of 5

    Esperanza Gailliard

    This book was another awesome read. Giselle Shardlow really gives her readers something to learn!!! Also the illustratior Vicky Bowes knocks the little guys out with her detailed underwater artwork, not to mention the lovely people. This story leaves the young reader feeling refreshed and ready to get down on their yoga mat and trying out some of their new moves shown in this excellent story. The reader is well aware of the yoga moves made to mimic certain animals of the ocean as well as the stress and importance of keeping a healthy oceanic environment too.

    This book comes equipped with full color illustrations, directions on the certain yoga poses and names and numbers to follow along while reading too. My little guy loves the kids yoga series and was delighted to have this read to him this evening. I rate this book a full FIVE fabulous stars out of five stars! Our family appreciates this author’s writing style as well as the illustrators artistic work!

  42. Rated 5 out of 5


    I love this book at first glance. The concept of integrating learning, reading and movements in this book make it a must-have for parents/teachers who are teaching young children to love reading at young age. Most young children love to move around and this fun and colourful book will help children to learn that reading is not just a passive activity. Maria Explores The Ocean gives a good opportunity for young children to learn about fun facts of the featured ocean animals. It’s light to read aloud with young children, with interesting pictures of the animals to point at. All the yoga poses are fun to learn together with kids, at home or in the class. As a parent, I like the both the “10 Ways to Save the Ocean” and “Parent-Teacher Guide” because they give me ideas for discussion with my children and how I can plan for the “active reading” activity at home.

  43. Rated 5 out of 5

    Clea Comte

    This is my first time reviewing one of these “yoga” books. I have taught Kindergarten for 16 years. I am excited that I have run across these wonderful books that help children to not only move but relate to the world they live in. The colorful illustrations add to the appeal to children. They flow and move with the story. I like the clear illustrations of the poses and the excellent descriptions in the back of the book. I would practice the poses first and then read the book to the children as they watch for the poses to appear in the story. I really love how the story flows and encourages movement from the listeners. .

  44. Rated 4 out of 5

    Loredana Elsberry Schwartz

    This is the first time I picked up a book by this author, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! As a RYT 200 and book blogger, I found this short story to be interesting for both children and adults. The flow was fast and held just enough details that it would be perfect for a child’s attention span. I truly appreciated the instructions in the beginning of how to most effectively use the book, the asanas sprinkled throughout the story, and the descriptions of each asana at the end.

    The author crafts the story to be both educational and motivational for the body and mind. The best part is that the structure and explanations make it fun for beginners but also useful for experienced yogis. If you’re looking to get involved in teaching children’s yoga or want to explore yoga with your young one(s), this is a great place to start!

  45. Rated 5 out of 5

    Buffy Schlesinger

    Great book for use with toddlers and preschoolers. I love having a go to book that can be used to fill the meat of my classes.

  46. Rated 5 out of 5


    Giselle creates sweet stories that are engaging and just right for young yogis. I’ve worked with a number of Giselle’s books and find the stories are well crafted, have responsible messages, and lovely illustrations. My youngest yogis love love a story and are happy to pose along while I read. The stories are well paced, and include a good balance of forward and backward bending posses. I have a large library of yoga stories and Giselle’s stories rank among the best.

  47. Rated 5 out of 5

    Sandi Schwartz

    Maria Explores the Ocean is another wonderful book from author Giselle Shardlow. I love the ocean-themed story line and how she weaves in the concept of environmental protection. There is even a list of 10 ways to save the ocean towards the end of the book, which is a very helpful resource and teaching tool. The book includes beautiful, colorful watercolor illustrations showing the variety of sea life found in the ocean. An extra special feature of this book is the color of the ocean pages that highlight each sea animal and its color. This adds a whole other educational level to discuss with children. The most unique part of this book is how the yoga poses correlate so well with each animal. For example, tortoise pose is for the green sea turtle, warrior 3 pose is for the black sting ray, locust pose is for the coral fish, and table top pose is for the crab. Each of these poses really looks like the animal in that part of the story. Another huge benefit of this book is the Parent-Teacher Guide provided at the end. It outlines helpful ways that parents and teachers can engage their children beyond just simply reading the book. The author provides important safety tips and suggestions for yoga props that can be used to enhance the practice. She explains how the book can be catered to different ages. Finally, she explains in more detail how children can develop mindful breathing and relaxation techniques by practicing yoga, such as the resting pose used at the end of the story. I highly recommend this book and the other interactive yoga stories by Giselle Shardlow. She does a fantastic job engaging young readers and encouraging them to participate in the story through yoga. Your children will love this book, as they discover marine life and explore movement through yoga poses.

  48. Rated 4 out of 5


    Maria Explores the Ocean: I am going to use this tomorrow!!! I can use it will all ages! It is great for summer school! This one is so bright and colorful; though not necessarily a learning colors book. I typically work with students who are past that and we expand their vocabulary of colors and comprehension. I love Giselle’s yoga book formats as they inform how to use them with children, have parent-teacher guides, have a list of the yoga sequences in the back that can be used to review or on shorter days when there isn’t time for a story and It also incorporates family teamwork into the theme. Giselle incorporates yoga poses with corresponding pictures, each pose has a color-coded word in the story so students can make predictions of what is coming next, and connects with resources and the community. This book has 10 ways to save the ocean. This is near and dear to me as I grew up going to beach every Sunday and have a family member who lives on the beach who helps the turtle egg “boil.”. I’ve only seen that on you tube but see the footprints of the mom who came ashore during early am walks. Storms have made me even more aware of how fragile their environment is and how lucky we are to have such beautiful animals to look at, study, practice movements of and treasure. The illustrator, Vicky Bowes, illustrates beautifully pulling the audience into each page. The book has simple minimal text which will allow me to stop and have students spend time on the pose. I love the motivational ways to combine movement and learning and adding social/emotional strengths for the benefit of all of my students. Giselle’s stories also lend themselves to many follow-up activities. I want to make one of each animal after we do them with our bodies!

  49. Rated 5 out of 5

    Lisa P

    Although I’ve glanced briefly at the books Giselle is publishing, this is the first book I’ve really looked at and I really enjoyed it! I can imagine using it in my yoga classes for pre-schoolers and also for children aged up to 6. The book is easy to follow and the poses are well-explained and are well-matched with the ocean creatures they are describing. It is a well-illustrated book and captures the beauty of diving into a colourful ocean – it will certainly stimulate the children’s imagination. I also like the environmental/conservation discussion point at the back of the book. This will link in well with a school’s theme of the week. Thank you!

  50. Rated 4 out of 5

    Alison Draper

    I’m always looking for new books to incorporate into my kids yoga classes and Giselle Shardlow has some great options. This book is beautifully illustrated with pictures that young children are sure to enjoy. Children love to pretend to be animals and the yoga pose pictures give them ideas of how to do so. The end of the book also teaches how to do each pose, which can be helpful to the reader if they are new to yoga. I also like that the book incorporates some interesting facts about sea animals and also encourages ways to be environmentally conscious.

  51. Rated 4 out of 5


    Colorful illustrations combined with informative facts on sea life. Combine this with fun yoga poses and you’ve got an entertaining story for children. Just a caution, do not touch coral!!! Some are toxic and also touch will harm and often kill the living coral.

  52. Rated 5 out of 5

    Leslie Nilsen

    Another fun book by Giselle Shardlow that I can’t wait to try out with the kiddos. As a school based PT, I am always looking for ways to incorporate movement in an engaging way. This book is so easy to use and I love the recap at the end with the colors and animals as well as the yoga poses and how to do them. Beautiful illustrations that attract attention and simply written so lower elementary students will surely enjoy. Yay for yoga in the schools thanks to Giselle and her wonderful books!

  53. Rated 5 out of 5


    I really enjoyed this book. Any time your adventure starts with a submarine you know it is going to be fun! The illustrations are pretty and set the stage for imagination to take over. I could see Maria and her granddad having some wild adventures at the mercy of my yoga students!

  54. Rated 5 out of 5

    Heidi Plasek

    As a preschool teacher, I’m always looking for engaging books with bright illustrations and solid content. This book provides that and more! We do yoga all the time in my classroom. I love the idea of weaving yoga into a text while still offering quality information. I am very excited to incorporate this book into my ocean theme! I think the kids will love it!

  55. Rated 5 out of 5

    Heidi Plasek

    As a preschool teacher, I’m always looking for engaging books with bright illustrations and solid content. This book provides that and more! We do yoga all the time in my classroom. I love the idea of weaving yoga into a text while still offering quality information. I am very excited to incorporate this book into my ocean theme!

  56. Rated 3 out of 5


    Some years ago, I would have never imagined teaching a subject like yoga through such kind of stories! giselle Shardlow is going to create a benchmark for children yoga with the books she is bringing out.
    Maria explores the ocean is the first one I have read completely, have glimpsed thro few others.
    In this book, many difficult asanas are explained in the story with a pictorial representation at the end as well as in between on each page. However, I did feel that some of the asanas are a little tough to be related to for a pre-schooler and might be better simplified. Also, it’s called A Kids Yoga colours book… not 100% sure why the word colours has been added. It’s colourful, no doubt but can’t be used to teach colours to a child.
    Overall, it’s a good book for a fun element with yoga poses for kids with some adventure too.

  57. Rated 4 out of 5

    Michelle Healey

    Maria Explores the Ocean
    Youngsters will joyfully immerse themselves in this awesome adventure under the sea. I love the use of the colours, especially with the little ones and the simple pictures demonstrating the yoga pose. Each page is full of sea life and is easy to recognize and identify with the yoga poses.

  58. Rated 5 out of 5

    Natalia M

    I read this with my 3 year old son and 5 year old daughter, and they both loved it. A lot of the poses were familiar to them, some were new, but the beauty of this book is that it is suitable for all levels – there are clear instructions on how to do the poses at the back of the book. There is a simple but very effective message in the book, that we should care for our environment so that we can preserve the oceans and enjoy all sea life for future generations. My son mainly liked doing the poses but the book triggered a good discussion about the environment between my daughter and I.

  59. Rated 4 out of 5

    Rachel – Yoga Nadi

    I am looking forward to creating a couple of great yoga classes for pre-school/nursery class and primary school age children for the start back to school following the summer holidays. Yoga is a great way to keep them active after all the time they will have spent outside during the holidays. The bold and bright illustrations in this book will keep them engaged and the inclusion of information on how to protect the environment is great to include in a class for the slightly older children. The size of the book is also ideal – so hopefully everyone gets to see the story as you go along. Look forward to using more of these books in the future.

  60. Rated 4 out of 5

    Mette Honoré

    I Translate The story into Danish in The classroom
    I Think The stories are so good and easy to use. The explanations are really good and i recommend these books for everyone who teaches kids or wants tv-show yoga to children.

  61. Rated 5 out of 5


    What a lovely book on so many levels! The story is sweet and the ocean life they encounter is exciting. The illustrations are wonderful, beautiful watercolors that really bring it to live. And the illustrator did a fantastic job with clearly illustrating each corresponding yoga pose. The quick reference pages in the back, along with the longer descriptions are very useful for helping the novice along. And I love both the suggestions for teaching, particularly the one about relaxing and having fun with it, as well as the suggestions for taking care of the environment. In all, a wonderful addition to a library for the purpose of teaching about the ocean as well as fun yoga activities.

    There are two things that I think may be issues to discuss with young readers. First, the characters ride in a submersible for a portion of their adventure, while in the suggestions for helping the environment, the author recommends against using motorized vehicles in the water. Secondly, for little ones just learning their colors, some of the colors are a bit difficult to differentiate or are not clear cut. That said, it also allows discussions of dominant colors and subtleties in colors in nature, which may be appropriate depending on the child’s age.

  62. Rated 5 out of 5


    I love this story about the ocean! The author uses beautiful illustrations to go along with the story. There are so many things to be learned in this story. You could do a picture walk with young children and talk about the different ocean animals and what is happening. You could discuss the colors of the different ocean animals. I also really love how the author incorporates the many yoga poses with the ocean animals. So, she is using a multi-sensory strategy for helping children associate the animal with different poses. I love the teaching guides at the end. I especially find the quick reference guide of yoga poses as well as the descriptive guide helpful. This book can be adapted for many types of learners! I can see using this book with my students with special needs as well as typically developing students. Thank you for providing such a wonderful resource! I cannot wait to check out some of your other Yoga books for my classroom!! 🙂

  63. Rated 5 out of 5

    Annelise Dent

    The book incorporates so many diverse elements for teaching children: aquatic animal identification, colour identification, aquatic animal facts, corresponding children’s yoga poses, and environmental ways to save the ocean, all within a lovely story about Maria and her Grandfather’s exploration of the Ocean.
    The charts reiterating the poses to the aquatic animals movement and colour is a wonderful addition. I’m sure parents, children and teachers will all enjoy this teaching medium, especially with the very helpful tips both as reading instructions, and how to assist the children in getting the most out of the experience.

  64. Rated 5 out of 5


    I thoroughly enjoyed this book! The book was filled with vivid descriptions and so many possible poses to add to the story. Also, I like how Granddad gave little facts with each animal. The book was filled with vivid descriptions

  65. Rated 4 out of 5


    While I am a huge admirer of Giselle Shardlow’s books due to their addressing of multiple intelligences, I felt like this one missed the mark in just one area. It hits the mark beautifully, as always, with its encouragement of full-body engagement in the story! The yoga poses are drawn well and are easy to imitate, and I love the opportunities for creative thinking as kids can consider how each yoga pose is similar to the sea animal mentioned on the page. These are great activities for body awareness as well. This book also hits the mark with regards to teaching about sea creatures and would be a lovely supplement to a preschool, kindergarten, or even first grade unit on sea life. The encouragement to keep the environment clean is just right, not too subtle or preachy. For me, the only place this book misses the mark is with the colors. For young preschoolers who are very literal and still learning their colors, the fact that the “black” manta ray, the great “white” shark, and the “blue” whale are all essentially grey is confusing. The “coral” fish is also confusing as it is mostly blue with a bit of orange, and the red seahorse and pink octopus are also both a similar faded red color. With older kids, this can lead to a discussion of colors in nature and the subtle nuances we see there, but for preschoolers, I guess I like the colors to be a little more easily differentiated. This is not a deal-breaker for this book, by any means; I would just not suggest using it to teach colors. Many of the names are actually just part of the animals’ names so I would recommend just enjoying this book for learning about sea life and leave the color component out of it for the younger ones unless they ask.

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review which I have given.

  66. Rated 5 out of 5

    Alicia D.

    I teach Yoga at my school and I absolutely love Sofia’s Jungle Adventure and the newest story, “Maria Explores the Ocean.” It is beautifully illustrated. Fun and easy yoga poses compliment the creative story. Thank you so much!!

  67. Rated 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Powell (verified owner)

    Love this book ,
    I have special school classes during the month of June . I used this book extensively in those classes. Kids loved the poses and it kept their interest . I love the format and will continue to use every new book that will be published

  68. Rated 5 out of 5

    Sian Lott

    I work with over 1500 students in my area and they all LOVE all your books. Looking v forward to sharing the latest one this school year!

  69. Rated 5 out of 5


    Just wanted to say that we love, love, love the new books! We read them recently while we were at a fancy pants restaurant and my daughter got up to do the yoga poses in the middle of the dining room!

  70. Rated 5 out of 5

    Coach Mike

    Your books have been a perfect fit for some of my special needs kids. I’ve been able to engage them in activities/games that I was unable to do before I purchased your books. They’ve provide me with another avenue to be creative with my clients. Thanks again for your time and help and I look forward to the new books you publish in the near future.

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