Drumbeat in Our Feet

Drumbeat in Our Feet

5.0 2
by Patricia A. Keeler, Julio T. Leitao
     
 

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In captivating detail, this title illuminates the beauty, history, and energy of African dance. Readers of all ages will delight in this drum-beating, hand-clapping, foot-stomping celebration of culture and tradition.

Come along as we explore the fascinating origins of African dance, as rich and diverse as the continent itself. Discover unique rituals, colorful

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Overview

In captivating detail, this title illuminates the beauty, history, and energy of African dance. Readers of all ages will delight in this drum-beating, hand-clapping, foot-stomping celebration of culture and tradition.

Come along as we explore the fascinating origins of African dance, as rich and diverse as the continent itself. Discover unique rituals, colorful costumes, and rhythmic instruments. Learn about dances that have been passed from generation to generation through the ages. See those very same dances come alive with a new generation of dancers. In captivating detail Drumbeat In Our Feet captures the beauty, history, and energy of African dance. Readers of all ages will delight in this drum-beating, hand-clapping, foot-stomping celebration of culture and tradition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
With an "Eh-way!" and "Doom, doom, da!" Keeler (A Huge Hog Is a Big Pig) and Leitao bring African dance to life. Dynamic illustrations and a lyrical narrative depict children in New York City ("Coming from Brooklyn, coming from Harlem,/ The Bronx and down the subway lines") who are part of an African dance troupe. Colorful, motion-filled images of them during practice and performance are juxtaposed with expository side notes and sepia-toned art that set a second stage in Africa. For example, as the American dancers paint their bodies with white dots, the backdrop shows a scene of long-ago African villagers dancing in similarly painted designs: "Thinking about the ancestors/ Once young like us-/ Dancing on/ African soil/ Dancing under/ African clouds/ .../ Breathing African air." The accompanying sidebar explains how the white dots represent ancestral spirits. Each spread spotlights a different aspect of African dance, from its traditions to its instruments, putting into context what the young U.S. dancers are reenacting on the pages. Successfully straddling two continents, this rhythmic work unites them in the last scene, as brightly clad dancers from the New York studio appear on an African landscape. Author notes introduce the Harlem-based dance troupe, Batoto Yetu, which Leitao founded. A map of Africa and a pronunciation guide for African words used in the text wrap up this lively, information-packed book. Ages 5-10. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Sara Lorimer
In this lively book, a group of children in New York City learn how to perform African dances; then they rehearse, put on their costumes, paint their bodies, and perform in front of an audience. The book can be read in either of two ways: younger children will prefer to hear just the short version on the right, which uses poetic language to describe the practicing and performance, while older children can read the lengthy sidebars, which put the dances into context and describe some other African traditions such as libations, musical instruments, costumes, and spirits. The text is cheerful and informative, although the lyrical sections sometimes feel contrived. The full-page watercolor illustrations do an interesting job of blending the story (boys and girls putting on a performance in NYC) and background (people in Africa performing traditional dances), with the American sections in color and the African section in shades of sepia. This book would be a good addition to a storytime about dance, performance, drums, or Africa.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-5-This well-designed, visually appealing book opens with a concise overview of the origins of African dance traditions that highlights the diversity of African peoples, cultures, and landscapes. Other two-page chapters cover how dances are passed on to children, different types of dances, image dances (those that mimic animal movements), costumes and body painting, honoring spirits and ancestors, musical instruments, drums, call-and-response songs, masked dancers, and performance. Keeler's watercolor-and-pencil illustrations impart a sense of vibrancy, movement, and joy. Most of the text is presented on the left-hand quarter of each spread, printed over sepia-toned illustrations that reflect the content. On the right, a large, colorful painting shows a troupe of American youngsters learning about that particular aspect of dance and preparing for a performance, along with a few short, rhythmic sentences. Back matter includes a note about Batoto Yetu, a Harlem, NY-based dance troupe founded by Leitao; a map of Africa; and a pronunciation guide. A fresh, uplifting, and captivating offering.-Mary N. Oluonye, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A young reader's guide to African dance. A dozen two-page spreads treat different aspects of the art form, each spread featuring a mini-essay (150 words or so) on the left, and a bit of descriptive text-cum-illustration on the right. For example, "Passing the Traditions" explains how dances are connected to myths and lore, which the older generation teaches the younger; the illustration shows adult dancers instructing a group of children. "Image Dances" explains a whole group of dances that mimic animal movements; dancing children with fancy costumes fill the illustration. "Spirits and Ancestors" traces the connection between dancing and honoring the past; the illustration shows dancers painting their bodies with white dots, each representing a departed family member. Keeler's lyrical paintings, in watercolor and colored pencil, capture important details but not the emotion or power of the movement. There's also an article with pictures about Batoto Yetu, a Harlem-based dance group, a pronunciation guide and a brief bibliography. Should prompt further study of its fascinating subject. (Picture book. 5-10)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781620140796
Publisher:
Lee & Low Books, Inc.
Publication date:
04/15/2014
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
1,180,085
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 10.60(h) x 0.30(d)
Lexile:
AD950L (what's this?)
Age Range:
6 - 10 Years

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Drumbeat in Our Feet 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An infectious energy fills the pages of this book from cover to cover. Even the endpapers make me want to get up and dance around the room! Ms. Keeler and Mr. Leitao have created a fun and fascinating book on African Dance, beautifully written and so visually energetic that you can feel the drumbeats on each page. Sepia-toned African scenes blend into colorful urban settings, building to a grand finale on the last pages, brilliant with color and movement. 'Once you learn how to do African dance,' says one young dancer, 'you'll never stop dancing!' What a nice thought to end this book... I, for one, am convinced!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jump up and dance with this powerful book about children¿s African dance! In Keeler¿s magical African world children leap and spin across the pages representing wind, water, and fire! Their arms spreading and backbones curving, dancers represent elephants, monkeys and antelopes! Did you know each white dot on a child¿s arm stands for a dancer that came before her? And the zig-zag design painted on the children¿s bellies represents crocodile teeth? Many African secrets are revealed! Feel the rhythm, African rhythm. Feel the beat, African beat! Don¿t miss this one!