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HOW CAN YOU DANCE?

Rick Walton, Author, Ana Lopez-Escriva, Illustrator
Rick Walton, Author, Ana Lopez-Escriva, Illustrator , illus. by Ana López-Escrivá. Putnam $13.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-23229-9
Reviewed on: 06/11/2001
Release date: 06/01/2001
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Forget footprint diagrams and perfect aerobic routines. In this stress-busting book of dance moves, Walton (That's My Dog! reviewed above) and Spanish artist López-Escrivá recommend imitating nature. They also find cathartic ways out of tight spots. Beneath an inset image of a child who has buried her feet in the sand, the rhythmic text asks, "How can you dance when/ you can't move your knees?/ Dance like a tree/ as it waves in the breeze." Further instructions appear in red italics ("Wave your arms wildly,/ Round and round all over"), and a three-quarters spread shows the girl and a tree swaying in a flurry of leaves and swirly aqua-blue clouds. Another child gets trapped between chairs ("How can you dance when there's something in your way?") and pretends to be a crab, moving "Side-step-side." Walton envisions slithering-snake dancers and "mad as a bee" dancers who "Spin and run/ Spin and run/ Stop and sting/ Everyone." In jazzy acrylic images that evoke beaches and jungles, López-

Escrivá pictures children hissing, wriggling or buzzing in circles with human-faced bees. Flamingos, kangaroos and foxes hop and sprint to the quick-tempoed verses, which invite wound-up participants to make their own strenuous interpretations. Ages 4-8. (June)

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