Discovering Joe Pilates: A Whimsical Exploration of Joe's Inventions

Written by Christina Maria Gadar and Illustrated by Taís Haydée Gadar



  • The most creative and imaginative book about Pilates.
  • Illustrated by a talented 8 year old Pilates student.
  • Pilates photography modeled by children (ages 8 and 10). An educational book about Joe Pilates and the history of his equipment.
  • A children’s Pilates book that will inform and inspire readers of ALL ages.


Enter a world where push-up devices become damselflies and mats become flying carpets. Learn about an imaginative man who turned wheelchairs and beer barrels into exercise equipment. "Discovering Joe Pilates" introduces readers to the amazing inventor behind the Pilates Method and displays the whimsical side of Pilates' inventions as seen through the eyes of children. Readers will be delighted by the whimsical illustrations, captivated by the history of Joe's inventions, and might even get a chuckle from the silly poems. This not-so-typical children's book blends the genius of Joe Pilates and the imagination of children into a book sure to please readers of all ages. Reading level: Grade 3 and up. Note: A portion of the royalties from this book will be donated to The Benjamin Gilkey Fund for Innovative Pediatric Cancer Research.


Message from Author

"'Discovering Joe Pilates' is very special to me because my eight year old daughter illustrated it and both she and my ten year old son modeled for it. It is especially dear to me because I am donating part of the royalties to The Benjamin Gilkey Fund for Innovative Pediatric Cancer Research set up to honor my young student who passed away this year at the age of nine. It is a book that combines information about the history of Pilates equipment with whimsical drawings of what the equipment looks like to children."





Pilates An Interactive Workbook by Christina Maria Gadar

Trailer: Discovering Joe Pilates



Review For Discovering Joe Pilates

Reviewed by: Rebekah Le Magny (founder of the Pilates Book Review and Discussion Club)

I ordered this book as soon as it came out and I love it!

Discovering Joe Pilates features Christina’s two beautiful children, both of whom practice Pilates regularly. Marcelo is ten years old and Taís Haydée is eight years old. Taís is not only one of the models, she is also the illustrator of the book and her illustrations are truly delightful (they have been made into greeting cards – note to self – try to find them). The book features a photograph and description of each of the major Pilates apparatus (apparatus by Gratz), together with an illustration of the apparatus as seen through the eyes of a child. A reformer becomes a skateboard, the Cadillac becomes a monkey playground, the spine corrector a whale. How wonderful to rediscover Pilates through a child’s eyes. Christina describes her book as being “for kids and the young at heart.” I’m not sure when it happens, but at some point, sadly we lose our child eyes! Let’s try to get them back! Too often we become absorbed at “fixing” our students and forget that Pilates should be fun. In keeping with the fun, creative spirit of the book, each photo and illustration is also accompanied by a limerick!

“This barrel will stretch out your spine And hopefully not make you whine.
Resembling a whale
That swims with its tail
The barrel is simply divine.”

The book also contains a short section on Joe Pilate’s life (illustrated with Joe in the snow wearing nothing but his famous briefs) as well as another part devoted to Joe’s successor and Christina’s mentor, Romana Kryzanowska.

As a mother of four (including an eight-year old daughter who also loves to draw), I was particularly touched that the book was the collaborative effort of Christina and her children. Pilates is a gift to be shared, particularly with our children.

I was also deeply moved by Christina’s acknowledgement of “the special person who helped me see rainbows again”, whom Christina credits as having “inspired her into bringing Pilates into the lives of young children” and in whose memory the book is dedicated. A portion of the royalties from the book will be donated to the Benjamin Gilkey Fund for Innovative Pediatric Cancer Research.

I just sat down with my daughter and went over the book with her. She loved it and we made a date to go play on the equipment tomorrow! Discovering Joe Pilates is a wonderful book to share with your children and for your students to share with their children. It will also make a great gift to give to your favorite students themselves, those that are “young at heart”.



Christina Maria Gadar | Gadar Pilates


About Christina Maria Gadar

A dual citizen of Brazil and the United States, Christina has spent her entire life working in the art of moving the body efficiently, first as a professional ballet dancer and currently as a Pilates teacher. She has been specializing in private instruction of the original Pilates Method in her Sarasota, Florida studio since 2000. Trained and certified by Joseph Pilates' protege, Romana Kryzanowska, Christina has a true love for, and devotion to the Pilates Method. She discovered the value of teaching young children Pilates when she began working with a young boy who was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of seven. Since then she has used Pilates to help many children recover from sports injuries, learn about correct body mechanics, and discover the benefits of mindfulness in movement. NOTE: "Discovering Joe Pilates" was illustrated by Taís Haydée Gadar, an 8 year old student of the Pilates Method. Pilates photography for "Discovering Joe Pilates" was modeled by Marcelo Gadar (age 10), and Taís Haydée Gadar (age 8).