Monday, 2 September 2013

#ReaditMD13 Theme Week - "Dance and Movement" - The joy of getting up and strutting your funky stuff!

"Rumbelow's Dance" by John Yeoman and Quentin Blake. Not a TV in sight!
As kids head back to school, and as the summer slowly mellows, there's still plenty of time to join us to celebrate this week's #ReadItMD13 Theme Week. We're taking a look at children's books that feature dance and movement. Balletic bouncing, energetic exercise - even yodelling while you Yoga!

Our header image is from the wonderful "Rumbelow's Dance" by John Yeoman and Quentin Blake (Andersen Press). These two esteemed gentlemen know exactly how to imbue a book with whizzing energy and bum-wigglingly frenetic movement. Quentin Blake's artwork always looks like it's about to leap off the page and dance a merry jig across your table top so it's a very good place to start!

In a similar vein, and with artwork that's eerily reminiscent of Quentin Blake's fabulous work, it's also worth checking out "Milli, Jack and the Dancing Cat" by Stephen Michael King (Allen and Unwin).

"Milli, Jack and the Dancing Cat". Join them for a carefree and merry jig! 
Beautifully illustrated again with the sort of movement in its characters that children will love emulating, it's a lyrical and lovely story that says it's perfectly okay to be different - in fact it's bloomin' marvellous! The hornpipe-dancing cat is so awesome, we love 'im to bits.

"Milli, Jack and the Dancing Cat" has made the leap to the stage - and here's a clip of one production.

We've always loved Child's Play's range of books that celebrate dance and movement - in fact you can start your little ones off as early as you like with the board book range to sing and jiggle along to.

"Hop a Little, Jump a Little" by Annie Kubler (Child's Play). Starting out with movement and motion.
Matching nursery rhymes to actions is a brilliant way to build children's confidence in movement and expressing themselves. Most children get used to 'performing the actions' to rhymes like "Incy Wincy Spider" and there are some fab "Baby Gym" books in Child's Play's extensive range for the really tiny.

Barefoot Books are also keen to see your children stretching, moving and showing off their funky poses.

"My Daddy is a Pretzel" by Baron Baptiste and Sophie Fatus (Barefoot Books). Can you be a tall tree?
We picked up "Yoga Pretzel" cards when we first visited Barefoot Oxford's fantastic new store in Summertown, and have also recently loved the "My Daddy is a Pretzel" story book, which had the three of us at home twisting and flexing (and probably doing ourselves all sorts of mischief) as we attempted to turn ourselves into human pretzels. Seeing Charlotte managing to touch the top of her head with her foot made me wonder if I was ever that double jointed (probably not) and made me vow to continue scoffing cod liver oil capsules like they were going out of fashion. Yoga is brilliant for parental bonding (really, trust me on this) particularly with some of the exercises that require co-operation and trust. Give it a try, it's not as hard as you'd think.

With a young ballet obsessive in the house, we have seen (and loved) quite a few ballet books on the blog.

Ballet Kitty Ballet Class by Bernette Ford and Sam Williams (Boxer Books)
"Ballet Kitty - Ballet Class" by Bernette Ford and Sam Williams (Boxer Books) continues the adventures of Ballet Kitty as she begins her first ballet class along with her two best friends. Ballet Kitty is initially a bit fussy about Ginger Tom joining in. He wears trainers, he hasn't got the right kit but nevertheless he's enthusiastic and can't wait to join in! A great book that gets boys used to the concept that dance and movement isn't just a 'girl thing'. 

So that's our first little post devoted to divine dancing and meticulous movement. Join us for more as the week progresses, and drop by soon as we review a book all about a rather special race...!