Stompin' at the Savoy

Overview

On the night before her big jazz dance recital, young Mindy has made up her mind not to go—she's just too nervous. But when she finds herself transported to the Savoy Ballroom, she quickly changes her tune. Filled from wall to wall with legends of the swing era, the Savoy is a place where the dancers move like acrobats and the seats stay empty all night long. It's an all-night party, and with all that fun going on around her, Mindy has no choice but to move her happy feet!

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Richard Yarde New York, New York, U.S.A. 2006 Hard Cover New 9 x 11. Glossy pictorial hardcover. No D/J. On the night of her jazz dance recital Mindy feels too nervous to go, ... until a magical drum whisks her away to the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem where she finds her 'happy feet'. Read more Show Less

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Overview

On the night before her big jazz dance recital, young Mindy has made up her mind not to go—she's just too nervous. But when she finds herself transported to the Savoy Ballroom, she quickly changes her tune. Filled from wall to wall with legends of the swing era, the Savoy is a place where the dancers move like acrobats and the seats stay empty all night long. It's an all-night party, and with all that fun going on around her, Mindy has no choice but to move her happy feet!

In his picture book debut, renowned watercolorist Richard Yarde adds brilliant illustrations to this jazzy story by bestselling author Bebe Moore Campbell. It will keep toes tapping and pages turning!

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Kelly Grebinoski
Sometimes it takes willpower to make yourself do something you might not want to do. In this picture book, Mindy is nervous about her dance recital. Her three aunts, Auntie Willa Mae, Auntie Naomi, and Auntie Norma also love to dance. In fact, they dance to old-time music right after dinner. Mindy makes it clear she doesn't want to dance. She doesn't mind dancing with friends and family, but she's sick at the thought of dancing in front of strangers, and her aunties aren't going to convince her otherwise. After she storms to her room, she finds an anthropomorphic drum is about to change her mind! Mindy follows the talking drum and finds herself at the Savoy Ballroom. There, she's confronted with a minor problem (though it's not the talking cat) when she finds out she's a star! She dances with Chick Webb, Benny Goodman, Willa Mae, and some other famous people. Is it all a dream? Regardless, she gets home and is ready to go to her recital. This story exemplifies a love of music and dance. It would be a good beginning reference book for jazz and swing music, as well as a wonderful read for Black History Month to celebrate the many African-American musicians who performed at the Savoy Ballroom. The illustrations look rhythmic and bluesy. The watercolors are vibrant and move just like the characters—they are jazzy and step to the beat for a real old-fashioned treat.
School Library Journal

K-Gr 4
Apprehensive about her jazz dance recital despite the encouragement of her three bebopping great-aunties, Mindy stomps off to her room to cry. Spying a talking drum outside her window, she follows it down the fire escape to find herself whisked back in time to the Savoy Ballroom of the '20s or '30s. Stepping inside, she is swept up with dancers doing the Lindy Hop to the bouncing music of Chick Webb, Benny Goodman, and Ella Fitzgerald. "Somebody's trying to mess with my mind," she says, puzzling over the clothing and hairstyles. As a Battle of the Bands begins, clarinets wailing and drumsticks pounding, Mindy dodges the club bouncer and finds herself entered in the dance competition, along with her suddenly youthful aunts. She performs her recital dance for the enthusiastic crowd, then lands back on her bed at home where she announces that she's ready for her performance. Her aunties respond with perfectly executed splits. Rhythmic gouache and pastel paintings depicting swinging dancers and jiving musicians perfectly complement the lyrical energy and magical realism of the cadenced prose. A terrific read-aloud, Stompin' at the Savoy is brimming with the irrepressible energy and "happy feet" of the Lindy Hoppers. A splendid shelf-mate would be Ntozake Shange's Ellington Was Not a Street (S & S, 2004).
—Joyce Adams BurnerCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
A young girl is magically transported to the legendary jazz ballroom. It's the day of Mindy's dance recital, and she's so nervous she can't eat her dinner. In the next room, her three lively aunts-Willa Mae, Naomi and Norma-are doing their usual after-dinner jazz dancing. Mindy stomps to her room, slams the door and flings herself down on her bed. The next thing she knows, she's awakened by a beating drum suspended in midair. She follows it to the glittering lights of the Savoy Ballroom, where she's welcomed by a tall cat in a white suit. Inside, Chick Webb's orchestra, including Benny Goodman on clarinet, plays lively jazz, and the floor is filled with couples, including her three aunts. Mindy's easily coaxed to dance, with "happy feet." A lift from her partner sends her up, up, up and back to her bed, landing softly. She's ready for the recital. Yarde's gorgeous illustrations, rendered in gouache and pastel, raise the modest story to something special. (Picture book. 5-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399241970
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/7/2006
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.38 (w) x 11.24 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Bebe Moore Campbell was a bestselling author and a journalist. Her nonfiction work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Ms., Essence, Black Enterprise, Ebony, Working Mother, USA Weekend, and Adweek,among other publications. She was a regular contributor to National Public Radio.

Bebe Moore Campbell was the author of such national, critically acclaimed bestsellers as Brothers and Sisters, Singing in the Comeback Choir, Your Blues Ain't Like Mine, and What You Owe Me as well as the award-winning children’s book, Sometimes My Mommy Gets Angry and the recently published Stompin’ at the Savoy.

Campbell was born and grew up in Philadelphia and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh, where she earned a bachelor of science degree in elementary education. She taught elementary and middle school for five years. She is survived by her husband, Ellis Gordon, Jr., her daughter, the actress Maia Campbell, and a son, Ellis Gordon III.

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