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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Layla is mortified when she messes up her ABC’s at school. All the children make fun of her, tease her and laugh at her. Even though she started her day on a positive note, doing yoga with her parents and building her inner strength, she was really put down by this error. At home, she tries her yoga again to call on her inner, higher self. Luella, her superhero, appears and offers some sage advice: to laugh at yourself when you make a mistake because we all do, and remember to love yourself always. Why? Because when you love yourself, you feel good and others take notice. As Layla goes through her weekend, she continually reminds herself that she loves who she is. This emboldens her to face the teasing mob of classmates on Monday morning with renewed confidence.
Nicole Barbara Cameron’s picture book story, Layla and Luella, is a clever and compassionate way to teach young readers about self-esteem and the importance of loving ourselves even though we’re not perfect and we sometimes make silly mistakes. Yoga and meditation are good ways to help people of all ages seek their inner, higher self and it certainly empowers one’s whole self. This charming book introduces some of the yoga positions and discusses in a simple language that young people will understand how finding one’s inner self and learning to love oneself make a person feel stronger and more confident. Yoga also has a healing power that helps us overcome little errors that may otherwise embarrass us. I love the illustrations.