Books That Will Substitute for Yoga in a Pinch

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We placed an offer on a house this week. I would like to say I have been cool as a cucumber through this process, but I mostly vacillate between insomnia and saying weird things like, “We could be choosing the house we are going to die in.”

Needless to say, I am a hot mess. And when this happens, the best medicine is a Moscow Mule a here-and-now book. All of these lovely books celebrate the gift of an ordinary day, and they will help ground you in the beautiful life you are actually living. So if you feel frantic and meditation and yoga seem like something people without young children have time to do, grab one of these instead.


What Happens on Wednesdays by Emily Jenkins and Lauren Castillo

I love this one so much. I spent a few years dropping hints every Mother’s Day that I’d like an Asby riff on What Happens on Wednesdays, with drawings from my darlings in it, but, alas, I must be content with reading about the day of this delightful preschooler in Brooklyn. From the “Today is not a kissing day,” refrain to “I can see my hands in the dark,” this one never, ever gets old. And once it becomes part of your family history, try this on your future preteen: The next time he cringes at your spontaneous hug, say, “Oh, today is not a hugging day?” If you’re lucky, nostalgia will kick in and he’ll feel like a hug after all.


The Hello, Goodbye Window by Norton Juster and Chris Raschka

This perfect book is a wonderful gift for any lovely grandparent, godparent, or special child-care offerer in your life. “You can be happy and sad at the same time, you know. It just happens that way sometimes,” is an oft quoted line at the Asby house. There’s also, “When I get tired I come in and take a nap and nothing happens until I get up.” Everything about this books is perfectly crafted; definitely add it to your collection.


Let’s Go Home: The Wonderful Things About a House by Cynthia Rylant and Wendy Anderson Halperin

Nothing happens in this book; Rylant and Halperin simply walk you through the coziest house ever. But when life feels overwhelming, a cozy home tour may be just what you need. My daughter wants to read this one over and over again.


The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant and Stephen Gammell

There is more plot to this one (the relatives do come), but it still absolutely grounds you in the present moment, especially the line, “But none of us thought about Virginia much. We were so busy hugging and eating and breathing together.” This one, like the others in this post, can be read a thousand times without growing tired of it.


Wishing you all a peaceful week of reading!

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