Thursday, August 12, 2010

It's Simple: Just 'Dance'

For the last few days, I've been sifting through all of our picture books, pulling aside the ones I might want to feature in upcoming blogs. My three-year-old has been looking through the books, too, and she has been fascinated by one in particular--a book that is simply called DANCE.

Would you like to guess why my daughter is so fascinated by this book? It's not because the book is filled with beautiful photographs by author and photographer Susan Kuklin (rather than the kind of illustrations she is so used to seeing in her books). It's not because of the exquisite lines and curves of phenomenal dancer and choreographer Bill T. Jones, whose body is the subject of all the photographs. And it's not because of the simple lyrical text she has heard so many times as we flip though the pages of the book together. 

My daughter is so fascinated by this book because...

Bill T. Jones is not wearing a shirt! 

He is shirtless on every page...sometimes more than once on a page. In fact, she even noticed that he is not wearing a shirt in his photo on the back flap. She was so proud of herself for figuring out that that shirtless person was the same shirtless person featured throughout the book. Oh, the simple pleasures of being three...

I actually bought this book long before I thought about writing children's books and long before I had children of my own. (It was published in 1998 and appears to be out of print now, although a few copies are still floating around out there.) I bought it because it portrays the same passion about dance that so many of us feel, and it does it in a very simple way. So goes the first line of the book...

I am a dancer. I want to dance.


  1. I like this book--and the shirtless Bill T. Jones--too!

  2. Hi, Susan. I'm looking back over past blog posts today and realized I didn't quite know proper etiquette when I started blogging. I never responded to your comment about the picture book DANCE way back when. So a belated thanks for stopping by. It's been great to be part of the kidlitosphere, and I love your blog!

  3. Really nice book. and nice blog post.


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