Whether it’s storytime for a large group or one-on-one laptime, just try and stop kids from following this book’s titular...

PLAY THIS BOOK

A hands-on approach (literally) to the wide and wonderful world of instruments.

Seven instruments sit on a stage, ready and waiting to be played. A multiracial cast of kids instructs young readers on how to play each instrument. As readers strum the picture of the guitar, bang the drum, or tap the piano keys, onomatopoeic sounds are spelled out in large display type on the page. By the time readers come to the performance at the end they’ll need little urging to get their groove on as well. Wiseman’s art cleverly makes each instrument something readers can “play,” blowing them up on the page and even forcing the occasional 90-degree turn when it suits. Librarians and caregivers should prepare for rips, tears, and other signs of adoration-turned-annihilation from young fans as they take to these instruments with gusto. Interactive picture books may be a dime a dozen, but this latest product of the post–Press Here (2011) era makes for a clever combination of interactive elements and good old-fashioned read-aloud know-how. Interestingly, the companion title, Pet This Book, is less successful, concentrating instead on petting, feeding, and caring for animals. Though well-intentioned, it lacks the bombast and wit of Play This Book’s premise.

Whether it’s storytime for a large group or one-on-one laptime, just try and stop kids from following this book’s titular encouragement. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 22, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68119-506-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2018

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The snappy text will get toes tapping, but the information it carries is limited.

LET'S DANCE!

Dancing is one of the most universal elements of cultures the world over.

In onomatopoeic, rhyming text, Bolling encourages readers to dance in styles including folk dance, classical ballet, breakdancing, and line dancing. Read aloud, the zippy text will engage young children: “Tappity Tap / Fingers Snap,” reads the rhyme on the double-page spread for flamenco; “Jiggity-Jig / Zig-zag-zig” describes Irish step dancing. The ballet pages stereotypically include only children in dresses or tutus, but one of these dancers wears hijab. Overall, children included are racially diverse and vary in gender presentation. Diaz’s illustrations show her background in animated films; her active child dancers generally have the large-eyed sameness of cartoon characters. The endpapers, with shoes and musical instruments, could become a matching game with pages in the book. The dances depicted are described at the end, including kathak from India and kuku from Guinea, West Africa. Unfortunately, these explanations are quite rudimentary. Kathak dancers use their facial expressions extensively in addition to the “movements of their hands and their jingling feet,” as described in the book. Although today kuku is danced at all types of celebrations in several countries, it was once done after fishing, an activity acknowledged in the illustrations but not mentioned in the explanatory text.

The snappy text will get toes tapping, but the information it carries is limited. (Informational picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-63592-142-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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A lively celebration of music and expressive dance.

I GOT THE RHYTHM

The beat is all around her when a girl takes a walk in the park with her mother.

On a lovely summer day, a young African-American girl in a bright pink sundress and matching sneakers sees, smells, sings, claps and snaps her fingers to an internal rhythm. As a boom box plays its song and a drummer taps his beat, neighborhood children join her in an energetic, pulsating dance culminating in a rousing musical parade. Schofield-Morrison’s brief text has a shout-it-out element as each spread resounds with a two-word phrase: “I shook a rhythm with my hips. /SHAKE SHAKE”; “I tapped the rhythm with my toes. / TIP TAP.” Morrison’s full-bleed, textured oil paintings capture the joy of a mother and daughter in an urban park surrounded by musicians, food vendors and many exuberant children. Read this aloud with music playing loudly—not in the background. Morrison is a Coretta Scott King/New Talent Award winner, and this is a fine debut for his wife in their first collaboration.

A lively celebration of music and expressive dance. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: June 3, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-61963-178-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: April 16, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2014

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