MY MAMA HAD A DANCING HEART by Libba Moore Gray

MY MAMA HAD A DANCING HEART

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A lyrical dance through the seasons. This will be a switch for fans of Gray's Small Green Snake (1994). The poetry is retained, but the mood is soft and nostalgic. Mama is a dancer, and she shares her joy of movement with her daughter, who narrates. ``We'd dance a frog-hopping leaf-growing flower-opening hello spring ballet'' and then drink sassafras tea, she recalls. A winter dance includes making snow angels, and a promenade imitating the clumsiness of snowmen. Beverages mark the seasons (lemonade in summer, cocoa in winter) as do colors (a red-orange summer morning, paper-white cut-out snowflakes). As the book closes, the now-grown daughter ties on her toe shoes and performs ballet in exalted remembrance. Col¢n (Sharon Wyeth's Always My Dad, p. 236) gives his illustrations a 1940s feel; his palette of pine, green, maroon, violet, and gold glows warmly. Fine lines scratched into the drawings add a sense of motion beyond the dancing figures, highlighting the billowing clouds, rustling leaves, and the splashed-in puddles. The reflective mood of the story may appealat firstmore to adults, but the sharing of this book between generations creates a nice parallel to the intimacy of parent and child in the story. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-531-09470-7
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Orchard
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 1995




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