Active verbs describe a young girl as she moves through the day identifying with the dancer inside. This is the companion book to Collins' I Am an Artist. For children who may not have access to music and dance lessons, this story introduces the concepts of inner music and movement. Each page is alive with movement that could be emulated by the children and adults reading the story. The child tells the story, moving through house and field, beach, dance class, and many activities not associated with dancing per se: chasing the tide, the drip blip of rain, and emulating various animals. Seeing movement in so many diverse things and places, children will catch the idea and find their own inner dancer. Illustrations show children of many different ages engaging in movement. The repetitive phrase "I am a dancer" also could lend itself to writing activities. Somewhat impressionistic illustrations use muted colors. This book is a delightful entry for "Music in the Schools" month and to unlock the dancer in us all. Reviewer: Leslie Greaves Radloff
I Am a Dancerby Pat Lowery Collins, Mark Graham (Illustrator)
Poet Pat Lowery Collins shows children that their everyday motionscatching a ball, reaching up to a shelf, or shuffling through the raincan contain all of the elements of a dance. Mark Graham's lovely oil paintings give the reader a new appreciation of the beauty of natural movements.
PreS-Gr 3- Similar in style to the author's I Am an Artist (Millbrook, 1992), this book shows girls and boys in various movements that can be defined as dance steps. In Collins's free-verse poem, they "shimmy out of bed," splash in puddles to the "steady drip-blip of rain," fly a kite, and play ball. Graham's beautiful oil paintings are filled with solidly built children on the move, while some of the backgrounds are almost ethereal. Even the brushstrokes convey action. This book is a lovely merging of art and poetry and gives a delightful sense of joyful motion. Paired with Rick Walton's How Can You Dance? (Putnam, 2001), it would make a great storytime selection.-Elaine Lesh Morgan, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR
Meet the Author
Pat Lowery Collins is a very talented woman. She writes poetry, children's books, and young adult novels. She is also a painter and has illustrated the work of others, though she recently illustrated her own picture book, Schooner. She is the author of Millbrook's #1 best-selling paperback, I Am an Artist.
Mark Graham was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. A graduate of Columbia University, he also studied at the Art Students League in New York City. He has illustrated a number of children's books, including Come Meet Muffin! and Where is Little Reynard by Joyce Carole Oates.
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