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Books are still hot this Holiday season! The stressful geo-political climate has customers focused on being constructive, even in their gift-giving. Mind/Body/Spirit publishers are on top of it. Children’s books are tied to yoga, meditation, and nature study. Cookbooks are focused on creativity and health. Spirituality is learned from animals and gardening. Help your customers be part of the solution and they’ll reward you with repeat business.

Retailing Insight Magazine Book Review Stephanie LaLand

Random Acts of Kindness by Animals

Stephanie LaLand

ISBN 978-0-15-7324350-4

Conari Press | www.redwheelweiser.com

The puppies on the cover say it all, but just in case your customers need more, there’s a foreword by Doris Day followed by story after story of animals (not only dogs) reaching out in service to the living beings around them. Buyer Beware! These stories will tug on your heartstrings until they bring tears to your eyes. If, as Stephanie LaLand suggests, Russian prince Petr Kropotkin was right when he proposed that animals become more cooperative when their environments become more adversarial, then these stories lend testimony to the premise that survival is best achieved by joint effort rather than competition. It’s a happy thought to offer your customers during this holiday season.


 

Retailing Insight Magazine Book Review Suzy Pelta Miracle Mug Cakes

Miracle Mug Cakes and Other Cheat’s Bakes: 28 Quick and Easy Recipes for Tasty Treats

Suzy Pelta & Andrian Lawrence (photographer)

ISBN 978-1-84-975812-3

Ryland Peters & Small | www.rylandpeters.com

Cakes baked in the microwave? That’s right—and they’re made in mug-sized, individual servings. No-bake Cheesecake, Ice-Cream Cookies, Candy Barstuffed Croissants, Double Chocolate Brownie Mug Cake, and Oreo Mug Cake are just a few of the recipes that scream to be tried. The book groups child-friendly recipes together, with aimed-at-adults recipes separate. Ingredients are simple, off-the-grocery-store-shelf items. Recipes are contained on one page with important hints (like using confetti sprinkles so that the color doesn’t run). Most of these treats take longer to cool than to mix and bake.


 

Retailing Insight Magazine Book Review Kristen Fischer Susi Schaefer

Zoo Zen: A Yoga Story for Kids

Kristen Fischer & Susi Schaefer

SIBN 978-1-62-203891-6

Sounds True | www.soundstrue.com

From “one balancing bear” to “ten frogs by a pond” Lyla turns to her animal friends for help in doing yoga. The illustrations in this delightfully inventive book lead her through a simple (for children) yoga routine that will put smiles on the faces of all the children who read it. Beguiling cobras remind her to keep her hands under her shoulders for the Cobra Pose. Lion cubs roar and grin as she sticks out her tongue for the Lion Pose. A butterfly rides on the nose of a crocodile as she does the Crocodile Pose. And multi-colored frogs seem to jump off the page as she stretches out for the Frog Pose. Sounds True’s entry into the world of yoga for children has produced yet another stellar product for your customers to embrace.


 

Retailing Insight Magazine Book Review Michelle Schoffro Cook

The Cultured Cook: Delicious Fermented Foods with Probiotics to Knock Out Inflammation, Boost Gut Health, Lose Weight, and Extend Your Life

Michelle Schoffro Cook

ISBN 978-1-60-868485-4

New World Library | www.newworldlibrary.com

Eating for good health is the new self-indulgence and that’s made kimchi and kombucha household words. If you’ve got customers who also have been caught up in the back-to-basics trend, then this book has something for everybody. Cook explains the basics of fermented foods and why they are important for a healthy diet, then gives readers a treasure trove of recipes for making and using them. She even includes cultured, dairy-free ice cream. The combination of fermented, vegan, and gluten-free, used in creative new ways, makes this one a not-to-be-missed winner.


 

Retailing Insight Magazine Book Review Isabelle Simler

The Blue Hour

Isabelle Simler

ISBN 978-0-80-285488-9

Eerdmans Books | www.eerdmans.com

As night encroaches on the landscape, there is an hour when the many hues and shades of blue fill the earth with magic. Artist and teacher Simler captures that time as she highlights nature’s many blue beings, and shows children that blue is not one color but an array of endless colors that change with the disappearing light of day. There will be much to talk about as parents, teachers, and children move page by page through this inventive book, exploring nature and the emotions it triggers. A blue-tailed dragonfly lands on a blue milk mushroom as the full moon rises and the blueness creeps slowly into the quiet of black and leaves its gifts and mysteries behind for those who take the time to notice.


 

Retailing Insight Magazine Book Review Marie Delanote

Acorns to Great Oaks: Meditations for Children

Marie Delanote, Jokanies (illustrator)

ISBN 978-1-84-409721-0

Findhorn Press | www.findhornpress.com

Delanote carefully designed this book to help parents work with their children about emotions. From the basics of grounding themselves like a strong tree and choosing the emotion they want to start their day with, through learning to sprinkle gold fairy dust on pain, to emptying the backpack of worry, these 1 to 10 minute exercises will allow children to discern and talk about emotional states while developing a set of skills for managing them. Jokanies’ charming and diverse illustrations are filled with smiling, peaceful faces and lots of the little critters children love to find in their picture books. While the book is simple enough for parents to use, it also will prove a valuable tool for clinicians.


 

Retailing Insight Magazine Book Review Megumi Oshima Hideshi Kimura

Miniature Moss Gardens: Create Your Own Japanese Container Gardens

Megumi Oshima & Hideshi Kimura

ISBN 978-4-80-531435-7

Tuttle Publishing | www.tuttlepublishing.com

Drawing on Japan’s love of mosses and the special techniques the Japanese have developed for creating small gardens, these authors offer your customers an inspiring look at moss gardening. They tell us moss can be found anywhere and then go on to give instructions for gathering, caring for, and using it to create wonderful little environments. The book is designed with lots of photographs and illustrations and is very well organized. I found myself leafing through it again and again, learning something new every time I did.


 

Retailing Insight Magazine Book Review Laurel Snyder

Charlie & Mouse & Grumpy

Laurel Snyder, Emily Hughes (illustrator)

ISBN 978-1-45-213748-3

Chronicle Books | www.chroniclekids.com

This unabashedly loving story chronicles Grandpa Grumpy’s visit to his two young grandsons, Charlie and Mouse. The excitement begins with Grumpy’s knock on the front door. It ends with a discussion of who’s sad and why, as we watch Grumpy pack his bags to leave again. Snyder drew from her own children’s behavior to create the text, and Hughes brought it fully to life with her animated and emotive visuals. It’s a powerful depiction of a positive male role model interacting with functional, loving children. Kudos all around!


 

Retailing Insight Magazine Book Review John Himmelman

There’s a Bug on My Book!

John Himmelman

ISBN 978-1-58-469588-2

Dawn Publishing | www.dawnpub.com

The creator of the “Noisy Sing-a-Long” series has once again joined forces with this leading publisher of children’s nature books, this time to focus young readers’ attention on the living world around them. As one critter after another lands on the pages of the book, they are gently nudged back off so their style of movement can be “observed.” The critters are all close to life-size and scientifically accurate. As always, the back of the book has pages and pages of follow up resources, so teachers and parents can help their young readers learn more about the creatures they have gotten to know in the story.


 

Retailing Insight Magazine Book Review Nitisha Patel

My Modern Indian Kitchen: Over 60 Recipes for Home-Cooked Indian Food

Nitisha Patel, Clare Winfield (photographer)

ISBN 978-1-84-975814-7

Ryland, Peters & Small | www.rylandpeters.com

Indian food is just one of the culinary categories having its moment in the spotlight now. Always popular in urban settings, especially for takeout, cooking shows are bringing Indian cuisine into home kitchens across the country. Patel went back to her roots to create authentic Indian dishes using accessible ingredients and techniques that make them home-cook friendly. The delicious recipes include street foods, curries, stir-frys, both meat and vegetarian dishes, dhals, chutney, and, of course, a large selection of unique sweets.

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Anna Jedrziewski

Anna Jedrziewski is a new consciousness author and consultant, as well as founder and director of Spirit Connection New York, Inc. (SpiritConnectionNewYork.org).