cover image Feel the Beat: Dance Poems That Zing from Salsa to Swing

Feel the Beat: Dance Poems That Zing from Salsa to Swing

Marilyn Singer, illus. by Kristi Valiant. Dial, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8037-40

Singer (Miss Muffet, or What Came After) taps into the rhythms of the cha-cha, conga, waltz, and other dances in more than a dozen upbeat poems. “No fumbling, no bumbling,/ my pops is tops at tumbling./ He’s elastic, so fantastic./ Papa’s so gymnastic!” gushes a boy about his breakdancing father. In kinetic scenes, Valiant (the Pretty Minnie books) captures lithe tangoers on a cobblestone street, wedding guests dancing the bhangra, and enthusiastic patrons swinging outside a library: “Today we read about finance,/ looked up the capital of France./ We found a book about a pug./ But we’re here to jitterbug.” It’s a celebration of the variety and global diversity of dance, and of how it can unite communities. Singer reads the poems, with musical accompaniment, on an included CD. Ages 5–8. Illustrator’s agent: Linda Pratt, Wernick & Pratt. (Mar.)