Kitchen Dance

Maurie J. Manning, Author, Maurie J. Manning, Illustrator . Clarion $16 (32p) ISBN 978-0-618-99110-5

Drawn from their beds by noises downstairs, the narrator and her little brother, Tito, peer into the kitchen to find that their parents have turned dinner cleanup into a rambunctious, Latin-flavored song and dance number. Mama swishes her ruffled skirt and Papa croons into a wooden spoon (“¡Cómo te quiero! Oh, how I love you. Umm, hmm”). The performance reaches its peak with a flourish worthy of Fred and Ginger: “My mother twists, and my father catches her by the waist and bends her low,” writes Manning (The Aunts Go Marching ), mixing awe with incredulity. “There is silence for a moment.” As the rounded, sculptural bodies of the couple move about the kitchen with humor and grace, the illustrations take on a cinematic sense of motion and space. This is Manning's most exuberant work yet, a winning tribute to happy feet and happy families. Ages 3–6. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 10/13/2008
Release date: 10/01/2008
Genre: Children's
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