What I love about this book is that it introduces kids to the idea of the mind body connection, meditation, and guided imagery. It is also a good reference book for older kids who are interested in Tai chi and want to know more about the history and philosophy. It has a very good but simple introduction to the concept of yin and yang, and how practicing Tai chi is the emobdiment of yin and yang. I like how it shows physical ways to meditate/relax the body and mind, through some Tai chi exercises. It also has some fun games to play solo or with a partner, to learn about energy, or to warm up and cool down before and after Tai chi practice.
Okay, what I don't like, and why I did not give it five stars...The instructions for the various poses and stances were somewhat complicated. As an adult, they were hard to decipher, so I imagine it wouldn't be that easy for the kids to learn from it either. Each positon has only one picture of the completed move or position. The verbal instructions are very long, and not broken down clearly into steps. There are no pictures of the various steps leading up to the completed move/positon.
I am a long time Tai chi student and a long distance grandmother. My grandkids practice with me when we get together during vacations. It is my experience that adults and kids learn Tai chi through imitation. In class, of course, we have a teacher and advanced students to imitate, with minimal verbal instructions. I think the book could teach more clearly, if the verbal instructions were broken down into shorter steps, each accompanied by a picture to imitate.
I will be sending this book to the kids, along with another book, Tai Chi For Kids: Moving With the Animals, which is for little kids. I think that the one about moving with the animals is actually a better teaching tool, with Tai chi for Kids as a good companion/reference/informational book for older kids. If the kids prove me wrong, and give a glowing report about how well this book teaches them, then I will be sure to post an updated review! Kate