With dance moves and beats that soothe, splashed with swirling lines and colors displayed in array—this picture-book tale is a fun-filled hip-hop hooray!
Montanari blends energetic rhythm with toe-tapping rhymes in her happy narrative of little Lollipop’s love of hip-hop and dance. “Mama says, ‘Time for bed. / Bed.’ / Lollie’s arms overhead. / Dancing down the long hall. / Bouncing off the tall wall.” But getting a bouncy ball of raw stamina down for bedtime is harder than you think. Pinkney’s swooping lines and whooshes of color enliven the story. Depicting dancing pets that arc and sway in time to the cadence of the rhymes, Pinkney amply demonstrates his mastery of visual narrative. He adds an almost abstract quality with his use of line, using pastel colors to suggest outlines of furniture and then transforming them seamlessly into sheer motion in a smart, refreshing way, playing with perspective while showing totally realistic joy on the characters’ charmingly rich, brown faces. Montanari has penned a read-aloud treat that is sure to enhance the nighttime ritual. However, caregivers shouldn’t be surprised if their little ones decide this bedtime story deserves backup dancers.
Though it’s far from lulling, it’s well worth the risk of a prolonged bedtime. The glee it provokes will surely be worth it. (Picture book. 3-7)