Friday, February 25, 2011

Delightful Rhythm and Art in 'Dancing Feet!'

Read It. Move It. Share It. 
This is the second post in my collaboration with independent dance educator Maria Hanley from Maria's Movers. Each month I recommend a picture book for Maria to incorporate into her creative movement classes, and then we both share our experiences with the book. Read Maria's February post here.

Tippity tippity! Stompity stompity! Slappity slappity! Can you guess which animals might use their feet to make these sounds when they dance? Toddlers and preschoolers will have a blast as they find out in Dancing Feet! by Lindsey Craig (author) and Marc Brown (illustrator). The simple, rhythmic text and colorful collage art in this book are such a treat!

Creepity! Creepity! Lots of purple feet!
Who is dancing that creepity beat?

Caterpillar's dancing on creepity feet. 
Creepity! Creepity! Happy feet!

This simple pattern repeats itself six times in the book, as we meet six different child-friendly animals, including a furry brown bear and a lizard with long green feet. Each time, the first part of the rhyme is accompanied by a full-page spread of art that hints (through footprints and isolated body parts) at which animal might be making the sounds. But young readers have to turn the page to find out for sure which animal is doing the dancing.

In her bio at the back of the book, author Lindsey Craig says she "grew up in a dancing and singing family." Dancing Feet! is her first picture book, but she has also written a musical and a popular children's play called Cinderella's Shakespeare. I've heard so many successful authors encourage other writers to "write what you know." Lindsey Craig appears to be following that advice, and doing a fabulous job.

The art in the book is equally phenomenal. Illustrator Marc Brown is best known for writing and illustrating the Arthur series of children's books, and I think the collage art in Dancing Feet! is a departure from what he usually creates. The art is amazing, though, and truly adds to the enthusiasm and overall charm of Dancing Feet! 

I noticed that Marc Brown's dedication in the front of the book says "For Leo Lionni, with considerable admiration." Leo Lionni was a master of collage art, and his work has inspired not only Marc Brown but also Ezra Jack Keats and Eric Carle...all three of them amazing talents.

Lindsey Craig and Marc Brown have been collaborating on their next picture book together, and I just found out it has a dance theme as well. It's called Farmyard Beat and is scheduled for publication in June 2011. I can't wait. I'm definitely a fan of this new dynamic duo!  

Don't forget to see how Maria from Maria's Movers used Dancing Feet! in her creative movement classes this month. You can read about it here.


  1. Thanks for writing a great post and suggesting a great book! Book #2= success! :)

  2. Yeah!! Thanks, Maria. Can't wait for our March book!


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