Books by Patricia A. Keeler

DRUMBEAT IN OUR FEET by Patricia A. Keeler
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

A young reader's guide to African dance. A dozen two-page spreads treat different aspects of the art form, each spread featuring a mini-essay (150 words or so) on the left, and a bit of descriptive text-cum-illustration on the right. For example, "Passing the Traditions" explains how dances are connected to myths and lore, which the older generation teaches the younger; the illustration shows adult dancers instructing a group of children. "Image Dances" explains a whole group of dances that mimic animal movements; dancing children with fancy costumes fill the illustration. "Spirits and Ancestors" traces the connection between dancing and honoring the past; the illustration shows dancers painting their bodies with white dots, each representing a departed family member. Keeler's lyrical paintings, in watercolor and colored pencil, capture important details but not the emotion or power of the movement. There's also an article with pictures about Batoto Yetu, a Harlem-based dance group, a pronunciation guide and a brief bibliography. Should prompt further study of its fascinating subject. (Picture book. 5-10)Read full book review >
ANIMALS
Released: Feb. 1, 2002

Kids, animals, and plucky word play combine in this engaging offering from first-time authors, and husband-and-wife team, McCall and Keeler. As the jacket explains, the text is based on a rhyming word game called "Stinky Pinky" or "Silly Willy." To play, participants figure out the rhyming word pair that goes with the two-word clue. For example, bordered in bright orange, the opening photograph shows a boy patting the titular farm animal. Above, bold white text gives the clue: "A huge hog is a . . . " Youngsters turn the page to reveal the words "BIG PIG" above a full-page photo of three children coaxing the creature into its pen. Subsequent photos show that "Cattle food is . . . / Cow Chow" and "A cozy beetle is a . . . / SNUG BUG." Throughout, colorful frames define question-and-answer pairs; some will stump, many will surprise, all will bring smiles. A terrific read-aloud, the interactive format encourages students to call out responses and, eventually, challenge one another with clues they invent on their own. (Picture book. 5-8)Read full book review >
UNRAVELING FIBERS by Patricia A. Keeler
CHILDREN'S
Released: June 1, 1995

This quick tour of the common plant, animal, and synthetic fibers from which cloth is manufactured will give young weavers and seamstressesor, for that matter, clothes-wearers and towel-usersa better understanding of this raw material's varied origins. The authors describe the source, harvesting, manufacture and special characteristics of 13 fibers, flax to rayon, simply and systematically, without going into technical detail (or economic issues, though photos of huge machines working a cotton field, immediately followed by a view of Bangladeshi jute strippers, may give perceptive readers pause). Well-chosen and -placed full-color photos support points made in the text, and add plenty of visual appeal, too; who could fail to be intrigued by the sight of sheep or a llama being sheared, or a row of fuzzy angora rabbits, or the goopy syrup from which kevlar is spun? As for the future: ``Ten years from now you may be wearing a shirt or pants made of polyester from a potato. . . . Imagine that!'' (index) (Nonfiction. 8-10) Read full book review >