Dance!

Ward Schumaker, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P $12 (32p) ISBN 978-0-15-200046-2
A graceful yellow pig and a dainty brown cat twirl through this captivating volume. In the opening pages, an old trunk full of tutus, tiaras, masks, canes and hats sets off a high-spirited, dancing fantasy. Spiraling lines and arrows indicate the animals' constant movement, whether spinning, tapping or swinging their arms. The action carries across every spread, so that the dance seems nonstop, and the staccato ""Plink. Plank! Plie. Plop! / I want to dance until I drop"" is impossible to read without lively enunciation. They soon join dancing dogs, tortoises, bears and mice for a ball; though there is no background detail, some paper party lights dangling from above and a spray of black-ink confetti suggest a festive mood. Wavy lines and airborne notes emanate from musical instruments; Schumaker's ink drawings-loosely detailed in silk screen-opaque brown, yellow, red, green and blue-are as gestural as Richard McGuire's What Goes Around Comes Around stencils. Yet these illustrations aren't as tightly controlled, and the pen itself seems to flow as effortlessly as a dancer. Ages 3-8. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1996
Release date: 03/01/1996
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