Jeet and Fudge: Find Yoga

Paw Prints. (Jeet and Fudge: Bk. 5). Sept. 2023. 32p. lib. ed. $15.99. ISBN 9781223187655; pap. $5.99. ISBN 9781223187662.
K-Gr 2–Rising second graders Jeet and Jamal, both with brown skin, have the dreaded back-to-school jitters. Their dogs, Fudge and Tugboat, feel equally apprehensive about the boys’ impending return to school. Jeet’s mother suggests the boys and their canine counterparts do a mindfulness activity with a twist: dog yoga! Jeet, Jamal, Fudge, and Tugboat do yoga poses, focus on their breathing, and, despite a trepidatious start, all come to find their spirits lifted and anxieties reduced. The practice of yoga has religious significance to Jeet and his family, who are Sikhs, and the back matter highlights the benefits of yoga and its importance. The congruity of text and illustration could use refinement in places, such as the unexplained appearance of a crowd of yoga participants on one spread that isn’t addressed in the text until several pages later. Emergent readers rely heavily on visual clues in the illustrations to decipher words and their meaning, so the alignment of narrative and illustration is especially important in early reader texts.
VERDICT Representation of Sikh characters in children’s literature is sparse, making this series an important addition to the early reader category.

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