Thursday, December 22, 2011

Boing.... Boing.... Boing....

Read It. Move It. Share It. 
This month I'm recommending the picture book Bounce for independent dance educator Maria Hanley to incorporate into her creative movement classes in New York City. This post is also part of a December of Doreen, in which I'm featuring three movement-themed books by author Doreen Cronin and illustrator Scott Menchin. After reading the post, bounce on over to Maria's blog to see how she used the book in her classes.

Although Bounce was not the final book published in the movement-based series I'm highlighting on my blog this month, I've saved it for last because it holds a special place in my heart.

In the summer of 2007, when my family was in the midst of moving from California to the Washington, DC area, we spent some time at my mom's house in Florida. And while we were there, we of course visited the local bookstore. My older daughter was two and a half at the time, and my younger daughter was several months shy of one. My mom and I together bought several books for the girls that day, but one of the only ones I specifically remember picking out is Bounce. I know we had lots of board books and a few picture books already, but I think of that moment as the start of the hand-picked collection of picture books that we truly cherish now as a family.

As a mother and as a lover of movement, it was hard to resist the bouncy rhythm of the text and the antics of the fun-loving dog who bounces in all sorts of ways--ranging from pretty normal to fairly outlandish--throughout the book. Here's one of my favorite stanzas...

It's hard to bounce in roller skates. 
It's fun to bounce on poles. 
If hippos bounced from place to place, 
imagine all the holes!

I just love that part about the hippos, and I love the illustration that goes with it. There is a huge hippo that covers a large portion of a two-page spread, and it's obvious that he is bouncing. Many large holes, made by his feet, are scattered about the pages. And in the right-hand corner of the spread, our fun-loving dog friend is peeking just his head and two front paws out of the hole. Adorable. 

Just as the book provides plenty of entertaining ways to bounce, it also cautions readers--in a truly delightful way--about some of the ways they probably shouldn't be bouncing. The illustration that makes me laugh the most shows the dog diving headfirst into a large pile of fruit, with the text mentioning that if you must bounce in the market, then it's probably best not to bounce in the fruits. I absolutely love the ending of the book, too. I won't give away the illustration on the final spread, but the combination of the art and the following text always gives me a chuckle...

A bounce can turn into a bump, 
a bump into a fall. 
But it's better to have bounced and bumped...
than never to have bounced at all!

So, I don't know about you, but I am excited to see how Maria has decided to use this book in her creative movement classes. Little ones are naturally good bouncers, and I'm sure Maria has thought up some innovate ways to take advantage of their innate ability! You can read her post here.

In case this is the first post you've read in my December of Doreen series, you can read more about the other posts here. I'll be ending the month with an interview with Doreen Cronin herself. Stay tuned!


  1. What a fabulous post! I'm not familiar with this book, but it sounds like a terrific one to be on the lookout for to share with my toddler. Thanks do much for linking up to RAT (and sharing how you've created your own reading culture at home, too)!

  2. Thanks, Amy. I obviously have an emotional connection to the book, but even without that connection I would think it is a wonderful book. I hope you come across it sometime!

  3. I had not seen this book before. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Love your review on the book, I may check this out from the library

  5. Thanks for stopping by, Doraine and Mama Bird!


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