cover image Let’s Dance

Let’s Dance

David Bowie, illus. by Hannah Marks. Running Press Kids, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7624-6808-9

Bowie considered his 1983 global hit one of his less nihilistic numbers, ostensibly qualifying it for the ever-expanding jukebox picture book genre. Marks (The Panda Problem) works hard to keep the mood light, with peppy vignettes featuring a multigenerational cast of varying ethnicities with bright eyes, wide smiles, and happy feet. The first mention of the famous opening lines (“Put on your red shoes/ And dance the blues”) shows a school dance team performing in blue uniforms (curiously, the scarlet shoes are barely visible); the later reprise takes readers to a kitchen dance party. But the dancing never shakes loose of being well-behaved (the one exception is a girl who boogies with an authentic rocker stance, hair askew, tongue stuck out), and images for some of the lyrics have an indistinct feel: “Because my love for you/ Would break my heart in two” attends two kids and an adult bouncing on a trampoline. Playing the actual song, with its irresistible signature chords and Bowie’s distinctive quaver, will probably be a more effective means of inspiring little folks to get funky. Ages 4–8. [em](Apr.) [/em]