Tip-Tap Pop

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Rosa finds a way to communicate with her aging Pop—through their feet!
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Rosa finds a way to communicate with her aging Pop—through their feet!
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Pat Trattles
When she was just a little tyke, barely able to walk, Emma's grandpa (Pop) taught her to dance. Everywhere they went they made music with their feet, tapping their way through town. And every year on Emma's birthday they put on a tip-tap dancing show and blew out the candles on Emma's cake together. But one year Pop stopped dancing. And he started forgetting. He forgot his reading glasses. He forgot to walk the dog. But most importantly he forgot Emma's birthday. Emma had to dance and blow out her candles alone. Dancing without Pop was not the same, and Emma's feet clump-stomp-thudded when she wanted to dig-chug-shuffle. Instead of making music, her feet made noise. One day Pop was sitting on the front porch when Emma came home from dance class and she gave him a quick kiss on his scratchy cheek. As her tap shoes slowly click clacked across the porch, Emma heard a soft shuffle-rustle-slide whisper from Pop's slippers. Encouraged, Emma tapped a little more. And Pop answered. Little by little Emma helped Pop remember to dance again. This timeless tale of love between a grandchild and her grandfather is perfectly complemented by Docampo's full color illustrations. It is a story that will be enjoyed by children of all ages. An author's note discussing Alzheimer's disease may have been a nice addition to the story, but is not necessary for this age group. Reviewer: Pat Trattles
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—Emma has been dancing with her grandpa since she was a baby. They make clickety-clack, tip-tapping noises with their feet wherever they go and use hats and canes in their impromptu performances. The role of teacher switches to Emma, though, after her sixth birthday, as it has become difficult for Pop to remember things, and she is determined to find a way to keep their dance routines going. She learns the truth about his memory loss through a conversation with her grandma. "'His feet remember,' Emma explained softly. 'They remember today.' Gram smiled, reaching one hand to Pop and the other to Emma. 'And maybe we can help them remember tomorrow.'" Short text and attention-grabbing words combine with colorful gouache and pencil illustrations. The passage of time is reflected through birthday cakes and changing appearances. Emma's pink dresses stand out against the greens and blues on the pages, as does a lovable pup that is never far from her side or Pop's. With Docampo's inclusion of a gramophone, bowties, and suspenders, Tip-Tap Pop has a nostalgic feel and leisurely pace. A first purchase.—Tanya Boudreau, Cold Lake Public Library, AB, Canada
Kirkus Reviews

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)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761457121
  • Publisher: Amazon Childrens Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/1/2010
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,440,503
  • Age range: 4 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.00 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 3, 2010

    Touching, wonderful story!

    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!

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  • Posted August 24, 2010

    Tender story of a girl and her grandfather who is suffering from memory impairment and how they "remember" together.

    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.

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