Bound to provoke many cries of “Again!” (Picture book. 3-6)

UNSTOPPABLE ME

Readers follow a preschool-age child through the day, watching the child take on the world as “movement," ”heat,” and “powered by PLAY!”

The nameless child runs through the day with the kind of energy that only small children can really muster. This Everykid plays, loves, and laughs, affirming not just unstoppability, but an unapologetic love of self. The child and a diverse cast of friends “bounce,” “spin,” “tumble,” and “dig” themselves into oblivion and bedtime. Joyner’s vivid colors give the book and text a feeling of energy and highlight the diversity of the characters on the pages. The brown-skinned protagonist’s parents are an interracial couple, and the children at school display a wide variety of skin colors, hairstyles, and textures—some girls wear hijab—ensuring that many children will be able to see some of themselves in the story. The illustrations are appropriately filled with movement, and their busyness really captures what it is like to be a kid. Although the text is spare—more a sequence of phrases than complete sentences that connect to one another—its profusion of exclamation marks and subtle cadences make it a delightful read-aloud that kids will enjoy and parents will get a chuckle out of as they see themselves in the book as well (bleary-eyed morning phone check while kid bounds through the room, anyone?).

Bound to provoke many cries of “Again!” (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 23, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-374-30738-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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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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