Song and Dance Man

January 7, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Song and Dance Man by Karen Ackerman, illustrated by Stephen Gammell; published by Dragonfly Books published by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.; New York; 1988.

The most remarkable aspect of Gammell’s illustrations are the use of shadows.  As the grandchildren arrive at Grandpa’s house at the beginning of the book, their shadows appear dark behind the curtains on the door.  But as the story progresses and Grandpa becomes the song and dance man of his youth, the shadows come alive with color.  The story is wonderful but would not be as striking without the colorful words colored-penciled into the illustrations.

I would use this as a read-aloud with middle-elementary aged students then ask them to use colored pencils to draw their own impressions of the song and dance man.  This might be a good book to refer to an art teacher.

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Entry filed under: Caldecott Award or Honor Book. Tags: , , , , .

Illustrations really tell story of The Little House What’s your first wish on the magic pebble?


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