Song and Dance Man

( 22 )

Overview

Illus. in full color. "In this affectionate story, three children follow their grandfather up to the attic, where he pulls out his old bowler hat, gold-tipped cane, and his tap shoes. Grandpa once danced on the vaudeville stage, and as he glides across the floor, the children can see what it was like to be a song and dance man. Gammell captures all the story's inherent joie de vivre with color pencil renderings that leap off the pages. Bespectacled, enthusiastic Grandpa clearly exudes the message that you're only...

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Song and Dance Man

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Overview

Illus. in full color. "In this affectionate story, three children follow their grandfather up to the attic, where he pulls out his old bowler hat, gold-tipped cane, and his tap shoes. Grandpa once danced on the vaudeville stage, and as he glides across the floor, the children can see what it was like to be a song and dance man. Gammell captures all the story's inherent joie de vivre with color pencil renderings that leap off the pages. Bespectacled, enthusiastic Grandpa clearly exudes the message that you're only as old as you feel, but the children respond—as will readers—to the nostalgia of the moment. Utterly original."—(starred) Booklist.

Grandpa demonstrates for his visiting grandchildren some of the songs, dances, and jokes he performed when he was a vaudeville entertainer.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this Caldecott winner, Grandpa relives his vaudeville days for an adoring audience--his grandchildren. Ages 3-7. (Feb.)
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
Another toe-tapping book! An ex-vaudevillian grandpa recreated one of his routines for his grandchildren. Soft-shoe dance music adds to the fun e.g. "Tea for Two."
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2 Gammell's animated, crisp, colored pencil line drawings enhance this story of Grandpa, who was famous for his vaudeville song and dance. Clever details of his and his grandchildrens' personalities are consciously delineated as he now performs on his attic stage. The shadow and the performer, transformed by his art, complement the text tenderly. The spirit of song and dance are reflected in the careful placement of drawings and text; five times they stretch voluminously across double-page spreads, although the text is always legible. It is also poetic at times. The accurate depiction of old age and the magic of the theater rhythmically combine like a dance with a solid beginning, middle, and end. It offers enchantment for children and for the person of any age who reads it to them. In its entirety, this glimpse into a unique, artistic personality offers a sweet reminder of the joy in the diversity of people, much like Blos' memorable Old Henry (Morrow, 1987). In boldness, realism, and linear strength, the illustrations are reminiscent of Steig's Amos and Boris (Farrar, 1971), which is also about individuality and acceptance. However, the persistence of memory and the acceptance of individuality are sophisticated concepts. The book's only weakness is that it may too often be set aside by adults looking for something easier to digest. Gratia Banta, Germantown Public Library, Dayton, Ohio
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679819950
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 1/2/1992
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 108,073
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Lexile: 780L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 10.51 (h) x 0.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Karen Ackerman has written over 25 books for young readers, including The Night Crossing, A Brighter Garden illustrated by Tasha Tudor, and Bingleman’s Midway illustrated by Barry Moser.

In addition to winning the Caldecott Award for his spirited illustrations in Song and Dance Man, Stephen Gammell is the illustrator of two Caldecott Honor Books, The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant and Where the Buffaloes Begin by Olaf Baker.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 22 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(10)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 27, 2010

    Kind of boring

    This is not one that my 3 and 4 1/2 year olds pick out to be read to them and it's not one of my (their mother's) favorites either. Thought it sounded like a cute concept but is just kind of boring...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2007

    Song and Dance Man

    This book is about a grandfather showing his grandchildren what he did in his younger days. The grandfather gets in a dusty trunk and gets out a bowler hat, gold-tipped cane and says ¿Hey `Watch this!¿ and does a new step that sounds like a woodpecker on a tree¿. The grandfather explains to the children that he was a vaudeville entertainer, as they try on his old costumes and try out new steps. Read the book to see what else the grandfather will teach the grandchildren. Ackerman, Karen. Song and Dance Man. New York: Alfred A. Knopt, 1998.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2007

    Song and Dance Man

    Karen Ackerman wrote a really cute and funny story about a grandpa and his good ole days. The 1989 Caldecott Medal Winner, 'Song and Dance Man' is a great book and shows a Grandpa performing for his grandkids. Stephen Gammell does a great job in the illustrations. I love the colors he uses. I think many kids will enjoy this book due to the humor it uses.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2007

    Song and Dance Man Review

    Caldecott Book Title: Song and Dance Man Reading Level: Third Grade 3.8 Genre: Fiction About the Author: Karen Ackerman has written several picture books, including Flannery Row: An Alphabet Rhyme, A Parents Choice Award selection, illustrated by Karen Ann Weinhaus Theo¿s Vineyard, illustrated by Mary Helen Wallace A Brighter Garden, illustrated by Tasha Tudor. Also a poet and playwright, Ms. Ackerman makes her home in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is also the author of ¿Song and Dance Man¿ which was a Caldecott Medal winner in 1989. Book Review: Song and Dance Man is a story about a special time between three children and their grandfather. The children were surprised to find out what their grandfather was like when he was younger. The children were amazed as grandfather opened up a dusty old trunk and pulled out a bowler hat and a gold-tipped cane, and took them back to the good old days. ¿He says, ¿Watch this!¿ and does a new step that sounds like a woodpecker tapping on a tree.¿ As their grandfather described his life as a famous vaudeville entertainer, the children dressed in his old costumes and tried out some dance steps. At the end of this story, the grandfather treated the children to an entire performance of an old act. The grandfather discovered he enjoyed his day with his grandchildren even more than the good old days of performing on stage. ¿He smiles and whispers that he wouldn¿t trade a million good old days for the days he spends with us.¿ This is a wonderful, heart warming story that you are sure to love, and will enjoy sharing with your children. Bibliographic Information: Ackerman, Karen. Song and Dance Man. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1988

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2007

    Song and Dance Man

    'Song and Dance Man' is a 1989 Caldecott Award winner written by, Karen Ackerman. In this book the attic becomes a stage as Grandpa performs for his grandchildren just as he did in the good old days, when he was a song and dance man. This Caldecott Award winner is sure to catch the eye of readers because it is a cute and funny story about a grandpa and his life in the good ole days.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2007

    Caldecott Winner!

    Grandpa used to be a performer dancing and singing so he entertains his three grandchildren in the same manner to their great pleasure. Grandpa takes them to the attic where he stores his performing clothes and performs for the children. The children return downstairs and their grandfther pauses so they began to imagine what he is thinking. What was Grandpa thinking? Read to fing out!This books reading level is ages 4-8 and it is a realistic fiction. Ackerman, Karen. Song and Dance Man. NY: Knopf. 1988.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2007

    Song and Dance Man

    The delightful children¿s book ¿Song and Dance Man¿ is by Karen Ackerman and illustrated by Stephen Gammel. This book was published in 1988 and won the Caldecott Medal in 1989 for its beautiful illustrations. Ackerman was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1951. She has published over twenty five children books. Not only is she an author, but she is also a poet and playwright. Today, she remains living in Cincinnati, Ohio. Gammel is also very talented, and has received two Caldecott Medals for his wonderful artistic skills. Not only is he a illustrator, but he has also written several books ¿Song and Dance Man¿ is about three children who visit their loving grandpa. Their grandpa tells them about his past ¿in the good old days¿ or what he calls ¿the song and dance days¿. While visiting, their grandpa takes them upstairs into the attic to happily entertain them. While in the attic, their grandpa uncovers a dusty, brown leather trunk. When he opens it, inside are his¿What do you think the children¿s grandpa had in the dusty, brown leather trunk? How do you think he was going to entertain his grandchildren? This book is filled with marvelous illustrations. The pictures and colors are so captivating that they instantly grasp the reader¿s attention. The story is also warm, simple, sweet, and fun. The book shows a close relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren as well. In the story Ackerman writes, ¿He [Grandpa] smiles, and whispers that he wouldn¿t trade a million good old days for the days he spends with us [his grandchildren].¿ I think this is a very sweet and warming quote from the book. It shows how much the children¿s grandfather truly loves them, which I really adore. The reading level for this book is third grade, eighth month. Ackerman, Karen. Gammel, Stephen. Song and Dance Man. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1988.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2007

    dance man

    In the old days said the grandpa said he was a tremendous tap dancer. also did jokes and he tapped like the wind and after the show he put on for the kids he said he would no trade a 100 old days for the time with his grandchildren.I liked it because the grandpa said he wouldent trade any thing for spending time with the kids.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2006

    You Too, Will Want to Sing and Dance

    There is nothing better for a grandpa than to relive the past with his grandchildren. In this affectionate story, three children follow their grandfather up to the attic, where he pulls out his old bowler hat, gold-tipped cane, and his tap shoes. Grandpa once danced on the vaudeville stage, and as he glides across the floor, the children can see what it was like to be a song and dance man. Karen Ackerman writes a wonderful story while Stephen Gammell captures the story with color pencil illustrations that leap off the pages. Grandpa clearly conveys the message that you're only as old as you feel, but the children respond, like the readers will, to the longing of the moment.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2006

    Song and Dance Man Review

    The picture book titled Song And Dance Man is without a doubt worthy of the Caldecott Medal award. Full of imagination and excitement, this picture book captures the attention of young readers as soon as the story unfolds. This picture book consists of a well thought out plot which is heartwarming and varies in suitability for young readers from the very youngest audiences to beginner readers. The characters in this picture book remain essentially static and don¿t change. The text of this picture book is so well written and thoroughly detailed. The illustrations in this picture book are utterly remarkable with immense detail. In addition, the illustrations naturally draws the readers and listeners into the story. The story¿s setting most likely took place sometime in the past. The plot itself evokes strong emotions from the past which keeps the audience feeling excited and in high spirits. This is a picture book that many young readers will take pleasure in reading over and over. This picture book could also fall in the genre¿s of both biographical and historical realism because the story could have actually happened in the past, a grandfather could have actually been a tap dancer. Also, the picture book contains historical information about the grandfather¿s past. The author of this bright picture book, Karen Ackerman, has written numerous picture books. For example, ¿Flannery Row: An Alphabet Rhyme¿ which won the ¿Parents` Choice Award¿. Today Karen resides in Cincinnati, Ohio. The illustrator of this book, Stephen Gammell, is highly talented. In fact, he has not only illustrated two Caldecott Honor books, he has also written several books as well. Ackerman, Karen. Song And Dance Man. New York, Stephen Gammell, 1988

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2006

    A grandpa's story..

    Thumbs up to Ackerman! This book is for every child to read. Ackerman unfolds apart of grandpa¿s past to his three grandchildren. The setting takes place in Grandpa¿s attic where he and his three grandchildren reminisce through an old trunk. The trunk was full of hats vest, bow ties and tap shoes, all of grandpa¿s attire when preformed as the song and dance man on a vaudeville stage. Grandpa slip on his old tap shoes, throws on a hat, a can in his hand, turns down the light and puts on show as if he was in a real theatre. Ackerman makes the entertainment shine through the book, as she explains the expressions from his three grandchildren as they sit back live the life that their grandpa once live. The sounds of grandpa¿s tap shoes were as if wood pecker was striking a tree. The shadow of grandpa body moves along with the sound of his voice as he sings and dances. No story is better than from a grandpa who lives to tell the tale, as this one in the Song and Dance Man.Ackerman, Karen. Song and Dance Man New York: Alfred A. Knopf Inc, 1988

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2006

    Song and Dance Man

    When I was little, I used to love going through all of the old clothes and toys in the attic. In this book, grandpa shows his visiting grandchildren a few of the songs, dances, and jokes he used to perform as a vaudeville entertainer. This is a wonderfully written and illustrated book! In fact, I have already read it many times, and my 4-year-old cousin absolutely loves it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2006

    My Review

    In Song and Dance Man, three grandchildren are taken on a magical journey to their grandfather¿s past without ever having to leave his attic! One day, Grandpa decides to show his grandkids a side of him they never knew ¿ the song and dance man. He takes the kids to the attic. Grandpa begins rummaging through the attic then proudly puts on an old hat, grabs a cane and slips on some tap shoes. The children soon discover that ¿Grandpa was a song and dance man who once danced on the Vaudeville stage.¿ You may be wondering what Vaudeville is and what grandpa did exactly. I¿d love to tell you, but you¿ll have to read Song and Dance Man to find out!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2006

    Review for class

    What do you think people did before television for entertainment? Read Song and Dance Man if you want to find out. This is the story about a man who tells his grandchildren about 'the good old days' the days that he refers to as 'the song and dance days.' Why did he call them that, and what did he do for entertainment in those days? This is a very enjoyable book with colorful pictures. Karen Ackerman is the author of this book, she is from Cincinnati Ohio, and has published more than 25 books. Ackerman, Karen. Song and Dance Man. New York: Dragonfly Books, 1988.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2006

    Have you ever wondered about what your grandfather was like before he was your grandfather?

    You, like the children in this story, just might be surprised to find out. ¿Song and Dance Man¿ is a story about a visit between three children and their grandfather. He describes what life was like before TV, ¿back in the good old days, the song and dance days¿. Grandfather was once a famous vaudeville performer. As grandpa describes his life on the stage, the children dress in his old costumes and try out some dance steps. Finally, the grandfather treats the children to an entire performance of his old act. This is a heartwarming tale about the love between a grandparent and grandchildren.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2006

    Fun with Grandpa

    This is a great book of how children bond with their grandparents. This is a tale of an old man reliving his days of singing and dancing on stage with his grandchildren. This is a great way to show young children that their grandparents where young once and how different the days of old are to the days of now. This is a great story for children six to nine. This story also fits into the informational category. Karen Achermann had her first children¿s book published in 1982. Since then she has published over twenty-five books. She won the 1989 Caldecott Medal with Song and Dance Man.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2006

    Caldecott Medal Book: Song and Dance Man

    What did people do before the time of television? In this Caldecott Medal winner, Karen Ackerman shares with us a wonderful story of an enthusiastic Grandpa who use to be and song and dance man on the vaudeville stage. He shares the wonderful experience with his three visiting grandchildren. Ackerman, born in Cincinnati, Ohio, has published over twenty-five books. The color pencil drawings enhance the story. Before supper, Grandpa takes his grandchildren upstairs to the attic. ¿I wonder if my tap shoes still fit?¿¿, he says. Grandpa pulls out his tap shoes and hats. The kids put on the hats and start dancing. The children watch in amazement as their grandfather starts dancing. ¿We forget that it¿s Grandpa dancing, and all we can hear is the silvery tap of two feet, and all we can see is a song and dance man gliding across a vaudeville stage¿, states the children. Grandpa finishes dancing, and the children wonder how much he really misses those days as a song and dance man. Ackerman, Karen. Song and Dance Man. New York: Dragonfly Books, 1988.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2006

    College Review for Class

    What do you suppose people did for entertainment before television and movies and computers? You will find the answer reading this child¿ picture book, Song and Dance Man a Caldecott Medal winner in 1989. When we visit, Grandpa he tells us about a time before people watched TV, back in the good old days, the song and dance days. Faded posters of Grandpa when he was young hang on the walls. As he moves some cardboard boxes out of the way, we see it . . . . . What is it that they see and what did they do back in the good old days for entertainment? To find out read Song and Dance Man by Karen Ackerman. Karen Ackerman was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1951. She had her first children¿s book published in 1982. Since then she has published over twenty-five books. This book was illustrated by Stephen Gammell which is done with brightly colored pencils. Other books you might enjoy by this author: The Night Crossing, By the Dawn¿s Early Light, and Araminta¿s Paint Box. Ackerman Karen, Song and Dance Man. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1988

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2006

    Great Book?

    This is a book about a grandfather sharing a part of this past with his three grandchildren. The book is in the genre of realism because it is a realistic story about family. One day at the grandpa¿s house he was telling his grandchildren about his performing days as a song and dance man. So, the grandpa and children go to the attic where inside a trunk were hats, shoes, bow ties, and vests that he used to perform. They grandpa puts on his old outfits and begins to sing, dance, and tap a show for the children. The children are amazed that their grandpa can do the dances and songs. After the show the grandpa relieved how much he missed the song and dance, but there was something more important now. Can you guess what it is? The author of this book is Karen Ackerman who has published over twenty-five children¿s books and her first children¿s book was published in 1982. She has won many awards with her book including his one. I recommend this book for any child any child who can read and enjoy the story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2001

    A Great Gift for Grandchildren!

    This book clearly deserves more than five stars. It is one of those rare children's books . . . that sends important messages well while improving intergenerational conversation and helps your grandchild to learn to read. Wow! No wonder this superb book won the coveted Caldecott Award in 1989. The book is designed to be read at about the second grade level, and will be enjoyed by children from about age three when read to them. Researchers constantly find that reading to children is valuable in a variety of ways, not least of which are instilling a love of reading and improved reading skills. With better parent-child bonding from reading, your child will also be more emotionally secure and able to relate better to others. Intellectual performance will expand as well. Spending time together watching television fails as a substitute. To help other parents apply this advice, as a parent of four I consulted an expert, our youngest child, and asked her to share with me her favorite books that were read to her as a young child. Song and Dance Man was one of her picks. Grandpa's three grandchildren come to visit for supper, and he tells them about the days 'before people watched TV, back in the good old days, the song and dance days.' Grandpa takes them on a magical journey to the attic to explore those days of yore while Grandma finishes supper. Pretty soon the old trunk in unpacked and the performance begins. As delightful as the story is, I must say that the illustrations are even better. They are a riot of suffused color covering the rainbow, often spread over both pages with action and humor in every scene. They give the impression of being an updated version of what Norman Rockwell would have produced on the same subject in his prime. Grandpa is allowed to be timeless with softened details and the posture of a younger man. The perspective is that of a child's so that you feel yourself looking up at him throughout, both physically and psychologically. The clear message is that Grandpa is a worthy fellow, and that home entertainment is the best. Now a clever grandparent can read this story to one's grandchildren and invite questions about the old days. The wise grandparent will come prepared with props to recreate what the grandparent did to entertain in the misty days of olde. The engaged grandparent will offer to teach the grandchildren how to do some of these things, whether they be dancing, playing music, magic tricks, or whatever. Pretty soon, you have a whole more interesting relationship. Some stories can follow also. Children are interested in the past, but they often don't know how to ask about it. This book can help them and you with that quest. As a parent, you can ask your child if she or he knows what grandma and grandpa did for entertainment when they were little. When the child says he or she doesn't know, you can call grandpa and grandma and see what they say. The link can go on from there. Having figured all that out, I suggest you also think about introducing what your own grandparents did to your grandchildren. That will be really amazing! Have a ball to

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