cover image Dancing Feet!

Dancing Feet!

Lindsey Craig, , illus. by Marc Brown. . Knopf, $16.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-375-86181-9

Consistently in step with newcomer Craig's toe-tapping narrative, Brown's cut-paper collages herald a fresh direction for his artwork. Recalling the simple yet sophisticated collage art of Leo Lionni (to whom Brown dedicates the book) and Eric Carle, the pictures introduce a cheerful menagerie of animals composed of basic shapes cut from hand-painted papers in an array of colors, textures, and patterns that recall everything from corrugated cardboard to exotic grasses. Celebrating movement and sound, the guessing-game story hints at the identity of each creature, initially seen retreating from the page, leaving footprints behind. Spontaneous, onomatopoeic verses ask questions that are answered with a page turn: “Tippity! Tippity! / Little black feet!/ Who is dancing that tippity beat?” leads into a spread that reveals ladybugs cavorting among leaves and dappled orange flowers. An elephant's beat is “stompity,” ducks' is “slappity,” a caterpillar's is “creepity,” and a bear's is “thumpity.” In a satisfying finale, kids wearing clothing that mimics the appearance of the various animals demonstrate their own dancing feet. Fluid repetition and snappy rhythm make this a natural for reading aloud—noisily. Ages 1–4. (May)