Happy Feet: The Savoy Ballroom Lindy Hoppers and Me by Richard Michelson, E. B. Lewis |, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Happy Feet: The Savoy Ballroom Lindy Hoppers and Me

Happy Feet: The Savoy Ballroom Lindy Hoppers and Me

5.0 1
by Richard Michelson, E. B. Lewis
     
 

On March 12, 1926, the doors of the Savoy Ballroom swung open in Harlem. It was a night to remember, when blacks and whites, rich and poor, all came together to dance!

This inspiring story of the world-famous dancing palace and home of the Lindy Hoppers is told from a father to his son, Happy Feet. It's Happy Feet's favorite story--after all, he was born

Overview


On March 12, 1926, the doors of the Savoy Ballroom swung open in Harlem. It was a night to remember, when blacks and whites, rich and poor, all came together to dance!

This inspiring story of the world-famous dancing palace and home of the Lindy Hoppers is told from a father to his son, Happy Feet. It's Happy Feet's favorite story--after all, he was born on the very night the Savoy opened. And he hopes that one day he'll make his own dancing debut at the legendary ballroom . . . because with a lot of hard work and a little Savoy magic, anything is possible.

Includes an author's note with biographies of Swing-Era dancers.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-A boy affectionately called "Happy Feet" sits in his father's shoeshine shop in Harlem and listens to the story of the night he was born in 1926. On that same night, the doors opened across the street at the famous Savoy Ballroom, one of the first venues where blacks and whites could dance together. "Twistmouth himself knocked on the door, asking the cost of a premium shine. `No charge,' I told him, `it's jelly on the cuff.' `Well then, alligator,' he said, `are your boots laced?' And he ticketed us both across the street to the head of the line." The story captures the mood and language of Harlem in the '20s and '30s, and introduces some of the famous faces at the Savoy, including "Twistmouth" George Ganaway, "Musclehead" Frank Manning, Big Bea, and others who invented dance steps that became famous in the swing era. Lewis's rich-toned watercolors bleed in and out of focus for the dancing scenes, transmitting excitement and joy. "`When folk are swinging,' Whitey sings, `ain't nobody better than nobody! Salt and pepper-equals! Cats and chicks-equals! Everybody just coming to dance.'" Happy Feet takes a backseat to the characters in his father's story, serving really as a framing device; it works fine for this charming, brief tale that makes a dramatic read-aloud introduction to swing and the Savoy.-Nina Lindsay, Oakland Public Library, CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A valentine to the renowned Savoy, narrated by a lad born on the day it opened in 1926 and illustrated with eye-filling watercolors featuring sharply dressed hep cats and hot, high-steppin' crowds. Young Happy Feet loves to hear his father, owner of a shoeshine shop just across the street, tell about the night he was born, when "all of Harlem togged out in their finest threads," and "even the rich white dukes came flying in from Hollywood" to swing and fly in the "hottest, coolest, most magnificent, superdeluxe dancing palace." Closing with a roster of renowned Lindy Hoppers, from Leroy "Stretch" Jones to Big Bea, this tribute will take young readers back to Harlem-as-it-was as persuasively as Debbie Taylor's Sweet Music in Harlem (2004), illustrated by Frank Morrison or Amy Littlesugar's Tree of Hope (1999), illustrated by Floyd Cooper. (Picture book. 6-9)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780152050573
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
11/01/2005
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
9.00(w) x 11.00(h) x (d)
Lexile:
AD700L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author


RICHARD MICHELSON is the talented author of several books for children. He owns an art gallery and lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.

E. B. LEWIS is the award-winning illustrator of many books for children, including Coming on Home Soon, winner of a Caldecott Honor; Down the Road, an ALA Notable Children's Book, and Talkin' About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Wieman by Nikki Grimes, winner of the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award. He lives in Folsom, New Jersey.

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Happy Feet: The Savoy Ballroom Lindy Hoppers and Me 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a good read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Happy Feet is the captivating story about the night the Savoy Ballroom, Harlem's "hottest, most magnificent dancing palace" opened its doors in 1926. Told by "Happy Feet," a young boy given the nickname because he was born on the day the Savoy opened, the book chronicles that wonderful night when people from all around, both "blacks and whites, rich and poor, came together to dance." Happy Feet opens in the father's shoeshine shop where the young boy, true to his nickname, is tapping his feet. He tells the reader that he was born on a special day, the day the Savoy Ballroom opened. He then recounts how his father built up his shop in anticipation of all the new customers who would be strolling by on their way to the Savoy. We meet several vibrantly named characters, from Long-Legged George to Twistmouth and Musclehead (all real people). From here, the story moves to the dance floor and all the fun people had swinging and moving to the great music. Soon Happy Feet is dreaming that his name might one day be up on the marquee at the Savoy. The easy flowing narrative is sure to draw young readers into the story and spur their imaginations. There are many descriptive passages such as, "It was the day the doors sung open on the earth's hottest, coolest, most magnificent, superdeluxe dancing palace. The Savoy!" The story soon takes on a beat of its own as Happy Feet's father recalls, "The cats were clapping, the floor was bouncing, and my heart was beating." The watercolors that accompany Happy Feet beautifully illustrate both life within the shoeshine shop and the dancers at the Savoy. As the pages turn and the music heats up, the dancers blur into a mass of movement, conveying the excitement of that night long ago. Quill says: Happy Feet will get your child's feet tapping.