This delightful book will encourage you and your child in creative movement!
My daughter and I danced along as we read through this book together. It's sure to delight all children of preschool and kindergarten ages. The story is whimsical and imaginative. Because the main character is male, it encourages boys as well as girls to dance!
Each layout consists of a picture on one side and accompanying text and movement suggestions opposite. The photographs of author ballerina are clear and simple. It's awesome that the book also suggests that you and the child to make up your own movements. It’s not necessary to copy the photographs exactly but they are there for ideas. There is so much freedom and creativity involved.
My daughter and I appreciated the photographs and the engaging story. It was full of creative movement and descriptive suggestions to make some movements “soft” and others big and bold. Most of the movements are easy with one challenging movement. All of the movements can be adapted to your child’s ability.
We will definitely be looking into other books written by this author! This is a great way to add movement and creative expression into shared activities with your child, especially during the current pandemic that encourages limited engagement outside the house.
-Reedsy (Jamie Pasho)
Young readers will love this enchanting story of siblings and magic that encourages readers to act out the story along with the characters.
The magic of childhood is at its strongest when reality exceeds a child's expectations.
In Danny, Denny and the Dancing Dragon, big brother Danny has great expectations of what life with a younger sibling will be like. Those hopes are dashed when all his newborn brother Denny can do is burble and babble and not even respond to him. But Danny is in for a delightful surprise when his disenchantment turns to enchantment as he discovers his baby brother has the power to summon a magical dragon!
While the main story arc is a tale of brotherhood, becoming an older sibling, and expectations versus reality with a touch of magic thrown in, the subtext of the story is just as strong. The tale is accompanied by Ballerina Konora's side narration, inviting readers to dance and breathe and move along with her as the story is read aloud. Photos of her poses and movements provide further elaboration and encouragement to get up and move as the story is told.
The Dance it Out series is ideal for any child or group of children who just can't bear to sit still during story time, for little ones' library classes, for ballet classes and camps to have quiet time together during rest period, and, in the case of this installment, for children about to become an older sibling for the first time. Many story times are seen as a time for quieting down, and this story can certainly be read as a part of a bedtime or nap time routine, but it also affords parents, teachers and reader-friends the unique ability to read and move together to get kids' sillies out, encourage movement through dance, control and focus the breath through deep breathing exercises, and make reading fun!
Danny, Denny and the Dancing Dragon is also a great story for lovers of dragons, magic and dance. The delightful illustrations and photos and the dual narrative of the story itself and Konora's exploration of the story through movement and dance ensure that this will be a story young readers will return to again and again.
—Reedsy (Cara S)
Babies are cute and cuddly, but can they do more than just lay around? Danny is thrilled when his baby brother, Denny, arrives. However, when Danny learns that Denny cannot participate in Danny’s favorite activity, dancing, he becomes disappointed. One day, Denny is laying on his back with his feet in the air and, before Danny’s very eyes, summons a friendly dragon named Kadessa. To Danny’s delight, Kadessa loves to dance, and the two enjoy discovering new movements together as their friendship grows.
This latest in the Dance-it-Out! creative movement series by Once Upon a Dance features a male dancer with dark skin, which is an inclusive shift for this collection. A note from Ballerina Konora at the beginning invites all readers to participate in the story, and the visuals in this book reinforce that message. Following that, the story is subdivided into three sections: a large illustration, the narrative of the story, and movement suggestions to enhance the narrative.
Each of the books in this series is illustrated by a different person, giving a unique visual quality to each installment. This book features blues, browns, grays, and greens as most of the action takes place in Danny’s basement. Ample open space and silhouettes on the walls emphasize Danny’s pervasive love of dance, and as he is always wearing a dancing outfit, it is clear that dance is a constant in his world. Kadessa the dragon stands out in purple and pink, adding a shock of additional color to the pages she inhabits.
Written for an elementary school-aged audience, the text in this story is presented in paragraphs made up of simple, direct sentences. The narrative is straightforward and inspires imaginative considerations through its storytelling. Below the narrative is a textual invitation to move with the story, incorporating each character’s individual style. Photographs of Ballerina Konora depict the movements and encourage participation and independent discovery.
Whether read in its entirety or one piece at a time, this book is another delightful addition to the Once Upon a Dance canon. Readers familiar with the other books will happily add this one to their collection, as will new readers who enjoy the mystery and excitement of imagining dragons, castles, and unicorns appearing in an otherwise ordinary world. Children who love to dance and move will look forward to interacting with each new character in these unique stories.
—Mary Lanni, Independent/Librarian Reviewer