cover image Giant Dance Party

Giant Dance Party

Betsy Bird, illus. by Brandon Dorman. Greenwillow, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-196083-3

Readers will finish this debut picture book from children’s librarian and book blogger Bird understanding the value of facing one’s fears, but even more likely, they’ll want lessons in Irish step dancing and the electric slide. Lexy loves dancing at home, but stage fright takes over during recitals: “She’d freeze like an ice pop and never dance a step. Not one. Not ever.” Dorman’s (Snowman Magic) candy-colored digital illustrations capture Lexy’s mood swings as she sulkily announces she’s quitting dance, attempts to overcome her stage fright, and hits on the perfect solution: she’ll become a dance teacher. Response to Lexy’s advertisements is muted (read: nonexistent) until five furry blue giants appear on her doorstep, requesting lessons. Bird’s chatty narrative is dynamic and funny, as are Dorman’s images of the twirling giants, which resemble a cross between pigs and fuzzy indigo caterpillars. Happily, Bird sticks to fun over “message moments,” though Lexy’s exuberant final performance has a grain of advice for readers attempting something scary: don’t overthink it. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Stephen Barbara, Foundry Literary + Media. Illustrator’s agent: Peter Lott, Lott Reps. (May)