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The process of watching a loved one grow older with significant memory loss is full of unanswered questions--for adults as well as children. Although the author doesn't share any solutions, there is a tender sweetness in this title, as a young girl finds a way to reconnect with her beloved grandfather through their shared love of dancing. Pop taught Emma to tap dance before she could talk. The love of music and dancing joyfully springs from each double-page spread. Slowly, Pop starts to forget things like walking the dog and Emma's birthday. The sadness of things forgotten comes across clearly in the dog's doleful posture and the missing energy in the still air. When Emma notices that Pop's feet can still remember how to dance, a quiet hope grows that other special memories survive. A successful title in addressing a child's perspective of aging and memory loss, it nicely complements Mem Fox and Julie Vivas's classic Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge. (Picture book. 5-10)
Posted October 3, 2010
This is the touching story of a relationship between a young girl and her grandfather, and how their love of dance forms a bond between them that is enduring.
The story is perfectly pitched for children, including those learning to read. The rhythm and cadence of the dance steps wind their way into the narrative, giving the story a pace and liveliness. The story itself is warm, with a tenderness that stays authentic and accessible for kids, without crossing the line into becoming sugary. I think most children could easily relate to Emma and her love for her grandfather, and the author does a wonderful job of showing a child's perspective on their relationship. Emma shows us first how her grandfather kindles the love of dance in her, their special connection as a result, her uncertainty about how to handle the changes in his memory, her happiness in finding a way to still connect with him, and then her simple acceptance of giving the same gift of dance back to her grandfather in her own turn. Adults will also feel and appreciate all the emotional undercurrents that don't have to be spelled out in the story. The vibrant illustrations bring the perfect touches of charm and humor.
This book is perfect for any child who has a special relationship with an older family member, including those trying to understand changes such as Alzheimer's. But, no special situation is required to enjoy this book, it is an enjoyable read for any and all. My daughter and I love this book, and I highly recommend it!
Posted August 24, 2010
Tip-Tap Pop is a heart-warming story of a young girl and her sweet relationship with her grandfather. From a young age he taught her to dance and listen to the music all around her. One summer he slowly forgets everything and sits in his chair all day. Emma is sad and so are her feet. She doesn't feel like dancing anymore. With patience Emma helps grandpa's feet remember how to dance. That is enough for her that sometimes his feet remember. Sarah's use of sound and meter make this a fun read. Although an unconventional topic for a children's book, it is a story that will touch adults and children alike whether or not they know someone suffering from dementia or Alzheimer's. It teaches valuable lessons while still being entertaining. Valeria's vivid drawings make the characters come to life and jump off the page.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.