PETER PENNY'S DANCE by Janet Quin-Harkin


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Quin-Harkin's sprightly tale gets rolling at once when a sailor who would rather do the hornpipe than scrub decks decides to dance 'round the world, promising to return in five years and marry the captain's daughter Lavinia. In France, the King wants Peter to stay and be court dancing master, in Spain they would make him head matador, and Indians want him to dance in the temple--but Peter is momentarily tempted only by the hula dancers in Hawaii. Having faced death at the hands of Masai warriors and the Emperor of China, Peter dances across America and swims halfway home to England, arriving two days early and just in time to dance up to the church and take a rich merchant's place as Lavinia's bridegroom. Quin-Harkin's prose is occassionally coy but generally catchy, and the lovely, muted lushness of Lobel's fairy tale romanticism doesn't keep her from poking subtle fun at the provincialism inherent in the old ballad this is built on. Nimble.

Pub Date: April 28th, 1976
Publisher: Dial