cover image When Nana Dances

When Nana Dances

Jane Yolen and Maddison Stemple-Piatt, illus. by Priscilla Burris. Magination, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4338-3684-8

An ode to dancing grandmothers from a range of backgrounds, this picture book celebrates the fun that Nana creates, whether she’s shake-a-shaking, shimmying, or doing the salsa. Yolen and her first grandchild, Stemple-Piatt, who both trained in ballet from a young age, join forces for this dance-centered narrative. In rhyming text, the authors highlight a variety of steps through Nanas who have seemingly professional dancing backgrounds: “She says that once—// brush, scuff, and slap—/ she crossed the stage/ with a tap-tap-tap.” Anonymous first-person narrators describe how Nana dances with them, guided by a light refrain: “When Nana dances— then whoa—Nana dances. Oh, how Nana dances with me.” Doodle-adjacent art outlined in fine black lines by Burris emphasize movement and simple expressions, showcasing mostly physically thin Nana-and-grandchild pairings of varying ability, age, and skin tone. A cadenced celebration of grandparent-grandchild relationships. Ages 4–8. (Nov.)