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Month in review

Reviews:
The Art of the Dragon by Sean McMullen
Baby Dance by Ann Taylor and Marjorie van Heerden
The Case of the Climbing Cat by Cynthia Rylant
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Doctor Who: The Faceless Ones by Terrance Dicks
Fruits Basket Volume 1 by Katsuki Takaya
Girl on a Bar Stool by Tim Roux
The Great American Marble Book by Fred Ferretti
A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh
Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson
How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Kampung Boy by Lat
The Lighthouse, the Cat and the Sea by Leigh W. Rutledge
Love is a Many Trousered Thing by Louise Rennison
Miss Pickerell Goes to Mars by Ellen MacGreggor
Myths, Magic and Legends of Sand Art by Suzanne Lord
On Beyond Zebra by Dr. Seuss
Outside the Lavender Closet by Martha A. Taylor
Secrets Unveiled by Sheshena Pledger
Simulacron-3 by Daniel F. Galouye
Spaceman by Mike O'Driscoll
Testimony by Anita Shreve
A Token of a Better Age by Melinda M. Snodgrass
Tom and Pippo Read a Story by Helen Oxenbury
Thump Quack Moo by Doreen Cronin
Violent Cases by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean
The Water Hole by Graeme Base
Wet Cats by Mario Garza
You Are Such a One by Nancy Springer


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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Comments for Baby Dance

Baby Dance: 09/13/09

Baby Dance by Ann Taylor and illustrated by Marjorie van Heerden Our local library has a nice selection of board books in each reach for young children to pick from. I love seeing what Harriet will choose when we go for our weekly trip to the library. Among her recent picks is Baby Dance from a poem by Ann Taylor (1782-1866) and illustrated by Marjorie van Heerden.

For the book, the poem has been oddly edited to remove the mother from the story. She's still shown as part of the family but the moment of playful dance between mother and baby moves to a father and baby instead.

The father and baby are clearly happy and it's nice to expose Harriet to families of different backgrounds than her own. It's refreshing to see people in a board book about families instead of the usual collection of overly cute animals.

What does bother me though is the choice to edit the poem. Fathers have certainly gotten short shrift in books aimed at young children. Unfortunately for this book, a perfectly delightful (albeit old) poem has its rhyme and meter slaughtered to bring a father to the foreground. Why not hire a living poet to write an update in homage to Ann Taylor's poem?

Original poem:

The Baby's Dance

DANCE, little baby, dance up high:
Never mind, baby, mother is by;
Crow and caper, caper and crow,
There, little baby, there you go;
Up to the ceiling, down to the ground,
Backwards and forwards, round and round:
Then dance, little baby, and mother shall sing,
While the gay merry coral goes ding-a-ding, ding.

Taylor, Jane & Taylor, Ann. Little Ann and Other Poems. London, New York: George Routledge & Sons, 1883. p. 48. (Source)

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