Read It. Move It. Share It.
I'm so excited that Maria from Maria's Movers and I are featuring Barnyard Dance! by Sandra Boynton this month. I knew Maria had a copy of the book and so would already by familiar with it, but I recommended it anyway because I love it so much and because I was curious to see how she uses it in her creative movement classes. If you're curious, too, check out her post here.
Stomp your feet! Clap your hands!
Everybody ready for a barnyard dance!
Ever since my first daughter was born seven years ago (my, how time flies!), I've been a big fan of board books. I think of them as simple, sturdy little books that can be loved for a long long time without losing their charm...or their pages. Barnyard Dance! by amazing author and illustrator Sandra Boynton was one of the first board books I received as a gift after I had my first daughter, and it has lasted through many many readings with both of my girls.
In preparing to write this post, I learned that there are nearly four million copies of Barnyard Dance! in print, and Publishers Weekly lists it as one of the bestselling children's books of all time. Wow! It turns out that I've helped contribute to those great sales figures, too. After receiving the book as a gift myself, I bought more than a couple extra copies over the years to give to other new moms.
Prance with the horses, skitter with the mice.
Swing with your partner once or twice.
Stand with the donkey. Slide with the sheep.
Scramble with the little chicks -- CHEEP CHEEP CHEEP CHEEP!
So, what is it that makes this book so great? For me, I actually hadn't thought about it before. I just knew that it made me happy, which made me want to read it over and over again. But now that I'm "thinking" about it rather than just "feeling" the great vibe of the book, I can see that there are more concrete reasons I enjoy it.
First of all, I love to dance, and Barnyard Dance! is about an eclectic bunch of farm animals who look like they really love to dance, too. The book is full of movement words and plenty of animal sounds, which I know most young children adore. And I also appreciate the fact that sometimes the animals in the book dance alone, and sometimes they dance with a partner. This aspect of the book is particularly nice for a creative movement class, as it provides a good jumping off point for introducing partner dances.
I've given quite a few of our board books and picture books away over the years, but Barnyard Dance! is one of those special ones I've held onto. The other day, my girls and I pulled out a pile of about 10 board books that we've held onto but haven't read in a while. In doing so, I discovered that Barnyard Dance! isn't the only one that would be great for creative movement. So don't be surprised if you see more board books popping up in my posts in the coming months!
In the meantime, don't forget to see how Maria used Barnyard Dance! in her classes this month. I'm sure she came up with something original and fun! You can read her post here.
Turn with a cow in a patch of clover.
All take a bow, and the dance is over.
With an OINK and a MOO and a QUACK QUACK QUACK,
the dance is done, but we'll be back!