Everyone told Dumpy La Rue that pigs don't dance. But Dumpy knew better. He closed his eyes and twirled to the tune inside his head. The whole barnyard gathered around, and soon hooves were stomping, wings were flapping, and feet were stamping out a beat.Elizabeth Winthrop's romping, rhyming story and Betsy Lewin's exuberant illustrations will have readers tapping their toes, jumping for joy, and dancing a jig with this passionate pig.
"Ages 4^-6. Winthrop's high-spirited text stands up well to Lewin's strong artwork, which will remind children of the pictures in her recent Caldecott Honor Book, Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type [BKL Ap 1 00], by Doreen Cronin. But the barnyard setting is the only thing the books have in common. Piggy Dumpy La Rue wants to dance, but his father reminds him that pigs are born for other things--like rolling in mud, snorting, and, of course, eating. Dumpy's sister is even more blunt: "Fat chance . . .Boys don't dance." But Dumpy takes no notice of detractors, and before long he has the whole barnyard crew--even portly Pops--happily hoofin'. The message will be pretty obvious (even very young children will get it), and Winthrop forces the rhyme at times (fence/ dance). There's still plenty of bounce here, though, in the lively text and the exuberant line-and-watercolor pictures, some of which fairly leap off the pages just like the dancing critters they show. --Stephanie Zvirin"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"The creators of Promises offer a spry story starring a piglet determined to dance. Though his parents insist that "Pigs don't dance./ They grunt, they grovel,/ they snuffle for truffles," Dumpy La Rue "knew what he wanted to do," and kicks up his hooves in front of an audience of barnyard animals. When the sheep announce that they, too, want to dance, Dumpy offers some advice to his pals: "If you want to dance,/ if you want to glide,/ just close your eyes/ and listen inside." Caldecott Honor artist Lewin (Click, Clack, Moo) portrays the closed-eyed assemblage of critters including Dumpy's family spinning, twirling and gliding along with the prancing porker. Her animated pictures, created with black brush lines and watercolor wash, comically capture the animals' initial skepticism and eventual ebullience as they discover the thrill of dancing to their own internal beats. Though the verse intermittently falters in its rhythm and rhyme, the kid-tickling energy and silliness remain constant (e.g., "The goats did a two-step./ The fox did a three./ The mule danced the salsa/ with a neighboring tree"). And amidst the merriment, readers just may pick up on the importance of bucking stereotypes and listening to one's own drummer or whatever it is that is playing "inside." Ages 4-9. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved