SKYDANCE by Elizabeth Swados


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Like the Swados/Hubley Lullaby (1980), this ""celestial celebration,"" as it's called on the jacket, is adapted from an animated film by Hubley. The words, added for the book, are few-for one sequence of four pictures, we have ""Moon rise! Sun rise! Dazzle razzle bump sway Wiggle giggle turn."" For the dancing figures--fish, cats, maidens, magical beings, a horned sorcerer straight from the cave, a ghostlike ""many headed gleeful glider""--Hubley borrows eclectically, from primitive and non-Western cultures, Western artists, and popular media. A cow (with some other animals) jumps over the moon, a blobby astronaut floats on a lifeline, masklike figures bang gongs to bring back an eclipsed sun, and, in a more somber mood, blank white ""keepers of the sky"" stand silent watch. The overall playful treatment saves this from the sappiness of Lullaby, and the mythical images provide some charge and changes. Perhaps in the film they came together; but here the coy, closing ""Will you invite me to dance?"" shows up the whole as arbitrary, empty, and a little silly.

Pub Date: March 4th, 1981
Publisher: Harper & Row