Thursday, February 27, 2020

Let's Dance!

Let's Dance!
by Valerie Bolling
illustrated by Maine Diaz
Boyds Mills Press, March 2020
review copy provided by the publisher

With a cast of characters as diverse as the world of dance itself, and a rhyming text that just begs to get you up and moving, this book is going to be a favorite to read aloud or read alone. It's got my favorites -- fabulous endpapers (featuring rainbow colored dancing shoes and instruments), and back matter that gives more information about the dances: Flamenco from Spain, Kathak from India, Irish Stepdancing, the Long-Sleeve dance from China, the Kuku from West Africa, the Cha-Cha from Cuba, and the more familiar breakdancing, line dancing, disco and ballet.

Fingers snap

Turn, twirl
Twist, swirl


Marilyn Singer's Feel the Beat: Dance Poems that Zing from Salsa to Swing would make a fabulous companion book. If you wanted to do a whole study of dance, you could use A Mighty Girl's list of picture books featuring dance.

Welcome to A Year of Reading, Valerie! Happy Book Birthday on March 3!

Valerie Bolling has been an educator for over 25 years and a writer since age 4. She is a graduate of Tufts University and Columbia University, Teachers College and currently works as an Instructional Coach with middle and high school teachers.

In addition to writing picture books, Valerie writes a Monthly Memo for teachers that she publishes on Twitter, and she has been published in The National Writing Project’s Quarterly and NESCBWI News. Recently, she had a poem accepted for publication by Cricket Media.

Valerie is a member of NCTE, SCBWI, the NESCBWI Equity and Inclusion Committee, the Authors Guild, the WNDB Mentorship Program, #12X12PB, 2020 Diverse Debuts, 20/20 Vision Picture Books, and a picture book critique group.

Valerie and her husband live in Connecticut and enjoy traveling, hiking, reading, going to the theater, and dancing.

Karen has the Poetry Friday roundup at her "Blog With the Shockingly Clever Title."


  1. I love the look and the feel of this book! It's a perfect response to Buffy Silverman's challenge on Michelle's, Today's Little Ditty. Congrats Valerie!

  2. Thanks for featuring Valerie's book -- that little excerpt you shared has got my toes tapping. Looking forward to reading it.

  3. What a fun idea for a book! Congratulations, Valerie!

  4. Oh this one is one I will have to buy asap. My little dancing granddaughter will enjoy it as will I, an old dancer. Nice to meet Valerie. I will be at Highlights soon so it might be there! Thanks for this post, Mary Lee. I do have Marilyn's book as well. Kids love it. So glad I stopped by tonight!
    Janet Clare F.

  5. This looks terrific, Mary Lee, for wonderful read alouds with a buzzing beat. Groups of kids will love it. And to read about all those dances, more to love and learn.

  6. Oooh. Was there an Australian dance in there? (I'm trying to think what it would be, if there was!) Such an active cover and sample - I can only imagine the energetic romps that the book inspires!

  7. Oh, looks like so much fun!

  8. More word play fun! This book taps its way into my heart, Mary Lee. Thanks for introducing Valerie to me. I thoroughly enjoyed your post.

  9. Great dance fun! Thanks!

  10. Anonymous9:22 PM

    Thank you, Mary Lee, for taking the time to write this wonderful review and get your readers interested in reading and purchasing Let's Dance!

    Readers, thank you so much for writing comments. I appreciate your congratulations and your interest in my book. If/when you read it, feel free to contact me via my website: If you write reviews, feel free to share your thoughts about Let's Dance! on your blog, Amazon, or Goodreads.

    Sorry, there's no Australian dance in the book.

    Thanks again!

  11. This looks delightful! Congrats, Valerie, on the new book, and Mary Lee, thanks for sharing that snappy excerpt!

  12. This book likes great fun--thanks for featuring it, Mary Lee.

  13. I'm ready to get up and Dance! Thanks for sharing this "Jiggity-jig" book Mary Lee, and introducing us to Valerie!


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