Lovely Picture Book Tribute to the “Madeline” Books: Miss Lina’s Ballerinas

Two Gems for Dancing, Book-Loving Families Miss Lina’s Ballerinas and Miss Lina’s Ballerinas and the Prince Pay Homage to Ludwig Bemelman’s Madeline Books Even casual acquaintances of the beloved Madeline series may remember well the famous opening rhyme: In an old house in Paris that was covered in vines Lived twelve little girls in two … Continue reading

Philadelphia Chickens: The Imaginary Children’s Broadway Musical Revue that I Could Play on Repeat

A torch song to chocolate chip cookies. A diva’s belting song about the pleasure of being contrary. A jazzy pajama time dance party. There is a lot to love about Philadelphia Chickens: A Too-Illogical Zoological Musical Revue from Sandra Boynton and Micheal Ford!!! From Amazon.com: Grammy nominee. #1 New York Times bestseller. And, with 960,000 … Continue reading

Rhythm & Isolations with the Picture Book: Cha-Cha Chimps

I fell for Cha-Cha Chimps the first time I read it to my son. This raucous little rhyming countdown book by Julia Durango (illustrated by Eleanor Taylor) is made for little movers. (Recommended for preschool through lower grade classes…ages 2-9.)   Like the Bojangles book Rap A Tap Tap (which I blog about here), Cha-Cha … Continue reading

Nutcracker Apps – For Apple & Android

Here are two apps–the first for Apple and Android, the second for Apple only–worthy of a child’s imagination. Nutcracker App #1 The Nutcracker Musical Storybook    from Mouse King Media  Find this App for: iPhone/iPad, Kindle, &  Nook. The Nutcracker Musical Storybook is a gorgeous digital book with Edward Gorey-ish drawings, pleasingly simple animation on each page, and … Continue reading

So You Want: Musical Dance Stories for Kids? — Wee Sing

Teaching classes with young children? You’ll need a few go-to tracks; tracks that allow you to just push play and then dance through a story along with your little dancers.  Start Here!   Story Tracks with Clips of Classical Orchestra Music: 10 – The Toy Shop at Midnight 21 – A Walk Through the Forest … Continue reading

How I Introduce The Nutcracker – Jeffers’ Book

Late summer might seem an odd time to be posting about The Nutcracker, unless of course you are a dancer or dance teacher and you have already been making early preparations for the holiday show for months now.  The Nutcracker is the most famous and accessible of the full-length ballets. The studio where I teach presents … Continue reading

Dancing Holidays: HALLOWEEN

Halloween is a holiday that nearly all of my dancers get excited about! It is (almost) universally  inclusive, and I find that the same children who are attracted to dance class are attracted to Halloween for the make-believe & the crazy costumes. Below are my picks for bringing Halloween into the dance classroom…or dance into … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

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