Though it’s far from lulling, it’s well worth the risk of a prolonged bedtime. The glee it provokes will surely be worth it

HIP-HOP LOLLIPOP

With dance moves and beats that soothe, splashed with swirling lines and colors displayed in array—this picture-book tale is a fun-filled hip-hop hooray!

Montanari blends energetic rhythm with toe-tapping rhymes in her happy narrative of little Lollipop’s love of hip-hop and dance. “Mama says, ‘Time for bed. / Bed.’ / Lollie’s arms overhead. / Dancing down the long hall. / Bouncing off the tall wall.” But getting a bouncy ball of raw stamina down for bedtime is harder than you think. Pinkney’s swooping lines and whooshes of color enliven the story. Depicting dancing pets that arc and sway in time to the cadence of the rhymes, Pinkney amply demonstrates his mastery of visual narrative. He adds an almost abstract quality with his use of line, using pastel colors to suggest outlines of furniture and then transforming them seamlessly into sheer motion in a smart, refreshing way, playing with perspective while showing totally realistic joy on the characters’ charmingly rich, brown faces. Montanari has penned a read-aloud treat that is sure to enhance the nighttime ritual. However, caregivers shouldn’t be surprised if their little ones decide this bedtime story deserves backup dancers.

Though it’s far from lulling, it’s well worth the risk of a prolonged bedtime. The glee it provokes will surely be worth it . (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-101-93482-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

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The snappy text will get toes tapping, but the information it carries is limited.

LET'S DANCE!

Dancing is one of the most universal elements of cultures the world over.

In onomatopoeic, rhyming text, Bolling encourages readers to dance in styles including folk dance, classical ballet, breakdancing, and line dancing. Read aloud, the zippy text will engage young children: “Tappity Tap / Fingers Snap,” reads the rhyme on the double-page spread for flamenco; “Jiggity-Jig / Zig-zag-zig” describes Irish step dancing. The ballet pages stereotypically include only children in dresses or tutus, but one of these dancers wears hijab. Overall, children included are racially diverse and vary in gender presentation. Diaz’s illustrations show her background in animated films; her active child dancers generally have the large-eyed sameness of cartoon characters. The endpapers, with shoes and musical instruments, could become a matching game with pages in the book. The dances depicted are described at the end, including kathak from India and kuku from Guinea, West Africa. Unfortunately, these explanations are quite rudimentary. Kathak dancers use their facial expressions extensively in addition to the “movements of their hands and their jingling feet,” as described in the book. Although today kuku is danced at all types of celebrations in several countries, it was once done after fishing, an activity acknowledged in the illustrations but not mentioned in the explanatory text.

The snappy text will get toes tapping, but the information it carries is limited. (Informational picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-63592-142-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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A lively celebration of music and expressive dance.

I GOT THE RHYTHM

The beat is all around her when a girl takes a walk in the park with her mother.

On a lovely summer day, a young African-American girl in a bright pink sundress and matching sneakers sees, smells, sings, claps and snaps her fingers to an internal rhythm. As a boom box plays its song and a drummer taps his beat, neighborhood children join her in an energetic, pulsating dance culminating in a rousing musical parade. Schofield-Morrison’s brief text has a shout-it-out element as each spread resounds with a two-word phrase: “I shook a rhythm with my hips. /SHAKE SHAKE”; “I tapped the rhythm with my toes. / TIP TAP.” Morrison’s full-bleed, textured oil paintings capture the joy of a mother and daughter in an urban park surrounded by musicians, food vendors and many exuberant children. Read this aloud with music playing loudly—not in the background. Morrison is a Coretta Scott King/New Talent Award winner, and this is a fine debut for his wife in their first collaboration.

A lively celebration of music and expressive dance. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: June 3, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-61963-178-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: April 16, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2014

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