Mikey-Mike's Zoo Yoga DVD, Animals of Africa was created for the purpose of entertainment, exercise and education. Coach Mikey-Mike brings together animals of Africa and the excitement of zoo yoga geared for the interests of children and capturing their imagination with this DVD. It is instructional and inspiring. Mikey-Mike's Animals of Africa on DVD is creative and fun for all ages.
"For the past 10 years Michael has presented programs at the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. Our education department continues to use his materials to inspire children to become agents of conservation" - Mike Chedester, Director of Education at Living Desert Zoo and Gardens
Imagine a world where diversity is celebrated every day, kids are actively encouraged to develop their creativity, and physical fitness is always fun. A fantasy? Not when you enter the universe that comes to life in the pages of “Mikey-Mike’s ZooYoga Party,” a new children’s book by Michael Paduano.
The book’s plot revolves around the author’s alter-ego, Mikey-Mike, who lives in an African jungle. As the story unfolds, various animals arrive at his house for a party bearing all sorts of colorful gifts. For example, Zulu Zebra arrives with fresh flowers he found along his journey and a clever rhyme explains what a zebra is and talks about his personality. The next page is Mikey-Mike’s gift back to the animals — a yoga pose named after them.
“I didn’t think anything about a guy zebra giving another guy flowers,” says Paduano. “Maybe if it was people, [but] you’re a kid. It’s OK to pick flowers whether you’re a boy or a girl. Kids should be able to do what they want to do as far as being creative.
“In the beginning of the book, I wanted it to be very clear, outside of introducing children to fitness, [that the book] encourages fair play, good citizenship and embraces all cultures and ethnicities,” Paduano adds. “I had an amazing childhood. My parents always allowed me to be creative — they never said you can’t do this. I have a lot of diverse friends and the animals in the book are very diverse with their color, size, [some] crawl, [others] run. I think there’s a lot of variety out there with children, too. With so much diversity, it’s important that there’s a lot more multicultural education in the classroom, whether it’s music, or language, or visual arts. The book is kind of celebrating all of that.”
Paduano, who’s 46 and lives in Rancho Mirage, grew up in Kirkland, Wash. He began teaching group exercise in high school and worked as a fitness director coordinating classes at five gyms while attending Seattle Central College. “In high school I did track, cross country, and swim team so I was kind of a cardio junkie,” he says. As an adult, he became a two-time Mr. Fitness National Physique Committee Emerald Cup Champion, competed at the national top ten level for the National Aerobic Championships in men's individual where he was a U.S. bronze world qualifier, and won a Triple-A Fitness & Bodybuilding Gold Medal. Among a few of his many other interests, he's pursued modeling, acting, writing and directing. He also has a sales background, starting with his work as an account executive for Sprint PCS in Seattle. So in 2000, friends encouraged him to move to Palm Springs, where he had a second home, and transition his sales skills into real estate, which he’s still active in today.
“I spend a lot of time [doing volunteer work] at The Living Desert so I wanted to do a book that kids locally could read about the animals and then actually see them,” says Paduano. “All of them are there at The Living Desert except the crocodile.” And all of the animals in “Mikey-Mike's ZooYoga Party” have African geographic names such as Togo Turtle and Cameroon Cheetah. “Africa is such an amazing continent,” Paduano says. “You’ve got mountains, desert, and oceans.”
For the book’s visuals, Paduano says he wanted an old-style, Yogi Bear-type cartoon illustration, not a narrative illustration where the story is told through the pictures. “I wanted emphasis on the words, so my drawing is for a younger audience and my reading level is a little higher age level. I think the combination is appropriate because people have older and younger brothers and sisters.” He anticipates the book will appeal to children from 4 or 5 years old up to age 10 or 11.
Paduano also just finished filming and executive-producing a pilot for a “Mikey-Mike’s ZooYoga Party” television show that parallels the storyline of the book. “I introduce myself to kids and talk about an animal,” he says. “So I’ll talk about the cheetah, then there’ll be video of the cheetah running and stretching, and then we’ll go into the cheetah pose. [But] this time I’m able to show the animals in the wild, running and sleeping and having fun.”
For Paduano, both projects are the culmination of engaging in what he thinks kids like — and that’s having fun. “Every day should be a party,” he says. “I think when you’re around a lot of kids and you’re around people of diversity and culture, to me, it’s always exciting.”
About the Book
“Mikey-Mike's ZooYoga Party” is available for print on demand, or digital download, at www.MichaelPaduanoAuthor.com, $18.99.
I had a great time volunteering at The Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert (CDMOD) for their Saturday Drop-In-and-Discover. It was a beautiful day and we made good use of the weather by stretching outside. Mikey-Mike’s ZooYoga focuses on animals of Africa, ZooYoga poses such as the African Wild Dog, Cheetah, Zebra and African Crown Crane.
Geared toward the interest of children and capturing their imagination, Mikey-Mike’s ZooYoga is creative and fun for all ages. It was great to see parents, grandparents and friends all get together and enjoy a wonderful ZooYoga class outside in sunny Rancho Mirage.
I encourage everyone with children to check out the CDMOD. It is a fantastic world with interactive exhibits, special classes and workshops.
This book introduces Mikey-Mike – your child’s host to the world of physical fitness. Along with his African jungle friends, Mikey-Mike will encourage your children to learn about yoga fitness, develop creative expression and have fun all at the same time.
Mikey-Mike always encourages fair play, good citizenship and embraces all cultures and ethnicities. He believes that all people are beautiful and important, and that everyone deserves physical health and happiness.
We strongly recommend that you consult with your child’s pediatrician or primary healthcare provider before beginning any exercise program.
And now, let’s help Mikey-Mike celebrate his ZOOYOGA PARTY!
Michael Paduano has been involved in international fitness for many years. His
expertise goes across the board, working with both adults and children in the
areas of yoga, Pilates, group exercise, team sports and other disciplines. He is an
International Sports Aerobics Gold Medalist; two-time NPC Mr. Fitness Emerald
Cup Champion; a fitness columnist and an active member of the National Youth
Sports Coaches Association. A passion close to his heart is working with children
with special needs, critical diseases and those who communicate using American
Sign Language. Mr. Paduano is also the creator and host of Healing Yoga and Mikey
Mike’s ZooYoga (available on DVD).
Michael Paduano has a new author's website page. Come check it out!
Michael Paduano is active in promoting children’s health and fitness. His expertise
goes across the board, working with both adults and children in the areas of yoga,
Pilates, group exercise, team sports and other disciplines. He is an International
Sports Aerobics gold medalist; two-time NPC Mr. Fitness Emerald Cup Champion;
a fitness columnist and an active member of the National Youth Sports Coaches
Association. A passion close to his heart is working with children with special needs,
critical diseases and those who communicate using American Sign Language. Mr.
Paduano is also the creator and host of Healing Yoga and Mikey Mike’s ZooYoga
(available on DVD).
If you would like to contact Mr. Paduano, or to find out where he might be
appearing, then please visit his website at: www.ZooYoga.com.
Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years by many people in many countries. It is now very popular especially with Mikey-Mike’s Zoo Yoga that has a western approach for kids.
Michael Paduano created Mikey-Mike’s ZooYoga Party for the purpose of entertainment, exercise and education. “Focus on fun!”
ZooYoga for Kids teaches children about strength, balance and flexibility. It helps them learn about their bodies and movements. The great thing about Zoo Yoga is that children can practice alone, with a ZooPal, or ZooBuddy or in a large group!
So start today and join in!
Michael Paduano created Mikey-Mike’s ZooYoga Party for the purpose of entertainment, exercise and education. He brings together animals of Africa and the excitement of a party. Geared toward the interest of children and capturing their imagination, this book and its author are instructional and inspiring. Mikey-Mike’s ZooYoga is creative and fun for all ages. “I love Mikey-Mike’s ZooYoga and what it’s teaching kids. I would strongly recommend this book to all parents and children. The idea to write this was brilliant!” – Mia St. John, five-time World Boxing Champion “For the past 10 years Michael has presented programs at the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. Our education department continues to use his materials to inspire children to become agents of conservation.” – Mike Chedester, director of education at Living Desert Zoo and Gardens
Playing card games is a wonderful way for children to learn a variety of basic skills, including counting, taking turns, basic strategy, and being a good sport. There are many games you have learned so share them with other young people you know. Enjoy the traditional card games of children with a Mikey-Mike’s ZooYoga standard 52-card deck. Enjoy these playing cards created for Mikey-Mike’s ZooYoga and enjoy the animals of Africa and the ZooYoga poses they are displaying.