4 More Infectious Books for Little Dancers

Unfortunately, not all dance-themed books actually invite children to get up and dance….but many do! A previous Unreasonable Joy post — Move “From Head to Toe” with an Eric Carle Book — introduced one of my favorite books to get young children wiggling and moving. Now here are 4 more books to read at home or in class with even the youngest children.

  1. Barnyard Dance!  ~by Sandra Boynton

     “Bounce with the bunny.  Strut with the duck.  Spin with the chickens now-  Cluck! Cluck! Cluck!”

    ~ This is a book to grow with. Even the littlest child on your lap will enjoy bouncing along to the rhythms of this book. With older children you can discuss the social dance conventions in the book such as bowing to your partner at the start and end of each dance and traveling with a partner in a “promenade”.  Barnyard Dance uses some common movement words (bounce, twirl, stand, leap, bow), but also a few more interesting ones (skitter, scramble, slide, strut, prance).

  2. Dance with Me ~by Charles R. Smith Jr.

    “Lift your legs up and down.  Twirl your hips round and round.  SHAKE, SHAKE, SHAKE it, baby!  Come and dance with me!”

    ~ Children, adults and animals wiggle to the beat as they get ready for a birthday party in an urban setting. Grade school children may be bored with the simple story line and action words (wiggle, move, bounce, shake, slap, twist)… but younger children enjoy the jazzed up rhythmic invitation to “SHAKE, SHAKE, SHAKE it, baby”…and the simple directions (scrunch your nose, rub your belly, etc.) that they can easily follow. Try Dance with Me for a young intro to Hip-Hop class.

  3. Got to Dance ~by M.C. Helldorfer

    “Bare feet–yow!– / the burning hot street / makes me dance, dance.”

    ~ Another exuberant choice for the toddler/pre-k crowd. It’s a hot summer day and the little girl in this story entertains herself by dancing. I like this story both for beginning dance classes and for home because it encourages children to allow dance to happen in everyday, anyplace situations….not just on stage or in the studio.


  4. How Can You Dance? ~by Rick Walton & Ann Lopez-Escriva

    “How can you dance when / one foot’s sore? / Dance with the other foot / touching the floor.”

    ~ This book combines the arts…poetry, painting, dance…in an invitation kids won’t be able to resist. Babes on laps will again enjoy bouncing to the poetry of this book, and grade school kids can help solve the problems of…How Can You Dance?…underwater? with a sore foot? when you’re antsy?

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Happy Reading & Moving!  ~ Linda

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