Plot: Guess who is dancing on lots of different feet? A whole menagerie of animals! And children, too!
Point of View: 1st person (determined by “We are dancing on stampity feet!” at the end)
Theme: dance, movement, animals, music, sound, rhythm, feet, imagination
Literary Quality: Energy bounds from the pages of this rhythmic story. Craig playfully explores sounds, movements, and colors in her text:
Lots of purple feet!
Who is dancing
that creepity beat?
Caterpillar’s dancing on creepity feet.
Every animal’s feet are a different color and have a different dance, but they’re all happy! The sounds each animal’s feet make are emphasized with italics on the page. Of course, these sounds evoke motions — tippity, stompity, slappity, creepity, etc. — and offer a great opportunity for children to practice the movements, an opportunity cemented by the final dancers, children who imitate the animals. The patterns of related sounds and repetition of the question and answer format make for a perfect read-aloud. Marc Brown’s colorful collages keep the momentum going. His illustrations of the feet provide visual clues to which animals will be seen in full dancing on the following spreads. This is a story that will get everybody up and moving their happy feet!
Audience: Ages 1-7.
Personal reaction: We’re big fans of Dancing Feet in our household, and have been since my son was just a few months old. The bold collages and musical text have always captivated his attention. The animals and their dances are silly and fun. I love how seamlessly this story brings music, movement, colors, and animals together.