cover image How Do You Dance?

How Do You Dance?

Thyra Heder. Abrams, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4197-3418-2

Heder (Alfie: The Turtle That Disappeared) imagines what happens when ordinary human beings dance everywhere, for any reason. Things start on the title page as six children groove to a beat. One boy sits way over on the verso, reading a book. “Like this!” says one of the dancers. On the next page, some dancing grown-ups join the party. The boy stands alone, arms crossed. “I don’t,” he says. A girl leaps out behind him. “I do!” she says. “Rick does, too!” says another, pointing to a man with a mop and a pair of headphones. “GO RICK!” says the text, as vignettes show Rick waving his mop. Heder explores dance with pages of graceful, rhythmic watercolors that show people of myriad ages, ethnicities, shapes, and abilities stretching, bopping, spinning, and swaying. Moves executed in exuberance (“Dinos! Robos! Horsies! Dads!”), impulsiveness (“At the market!”), and self-care (“Sometimes you just need to flop around... until you feel better”) climax in a gigantic, inclusive dance party complete with glittery disco ball. Heder’s stream of dancers encourages everyone to find a way to dance—even, perhaps, the most stubborn nondancers. Ages 3–7. [em]Agent: Stephen Barr, Writers House. (Aug.) [/em]