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Rap a Tap Tap: Here's Bojangles - Think of That! (Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Books) Hardcover – September 1, 2002


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Stick and Stone
Words do matter as Stick and Stone demonstrate in warm, rhyming text even the youngest reader will understand. See more featured books. Read more about the author Beth Ferry and the illustrator Tom Lichtenheld.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 300L (What's this?)
  • Series: Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Books
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Blue Sky Press; 1St Edition edition (September 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0590478834
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590478830
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8.8 x 11.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #185,923 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In a departure from their recognizable illustration style, the versatile husband-and-wife team here uses a striking gouache painting technique that pays homage to Harlem Renaissance artist Aaron Douglas to craft an exuberant picture-book tribute to African-American tap dancer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson (1878-1949). Brief, rhyming text introduces the tall, lean and dapper man who "danced in the street" and "made art with his feet." In keeping with tapdancing tradition, each line of verse returns to a rhythmic refrain ("Rap a tap tap think of that!"). The deceptively simple text conveys the complexities of the era: "He danced past doors; some were open, some closed" accompanies a montage of entryways, with some people welcoming Robinson, but a white man closing his door. On the other hand "folks in fancy clothes" depicts whites and blacks together outside a show. Most spreads exude the everyday joys of a bustling city neighborhood, and the bouncy beat will hold the attention of even youngest readers. A short biographical note appears at the end of the book. The cubed-looking apartment buildings, an elevated/subway train, store fronts and traffic lights suggest Manhattan (eagle-eye readers will notice an obscured sign for 125th Street), but the scenes are general enough to lend the art a universal, timeless feel. The Dillons cleverly depict Robinson's fast-flying feet with varying shades of the same color around his legs, creating a sense of movement with a shadow/silhouette effect. The graceful figure he cuts on the page is a hoofer's delight. Ages 3-up.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

reSchool-Grade 2-Legendary African-American tap dancer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson (1878-1949) is the subject of this picture book. Graphically, the volume is a joy and would work well in a group setting. The left side of each spread contains an outdoor scene in which people are captivated by the performer's dancing: exuberant children, dressed-to-the-nines adults, the ragged homeless. Where the boldly painted, flat images overlap, the colors change, as if the foreground objects were transparent. Continuing this approach, the dancer is rendered in brown, gray, or black on the right, sporting multiple appendages-that is, the parts of his body that are still "moving" appear in lighter shades behind or on top of the more deeply hued arms and legs. There is a sense of progressive motion until the climax, when Bojangles moves across the entire white field, a series of intersecting pale gray to black forms, finally bowing, top hat in hand. The simple, rhymed text is less inspired, sometimes a bit forced: "His feet fairly flew as he tipped his hat.- He briefly paused to pat an old cat." Each short sentence is followed by the refrain, "Rap a tap tap-think of that!" While there is call-and-response potential, it all gets a bit tedious. An afterword gives a bit more information about Robinson. This is a visually interesting introduction to a performer about whom little is written for children.
Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
83%
4 star
11%
3 star
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1 star
6%
See all 18 customer reviews
This storybook has a fun read-aloud rhythm and delightful illustrations.
M. Heiss
We have also watched Bojangles videos on YouTube to further cement my son's knowledge, respect and enjoyment of this marvelous artist!
p31Mom
He caught on quickly and knew when it was time to say "RAP A TAP TAP - THINK OF THAT!"
PhillyGirl

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Roz Levine on December 17, 2002
Format: Hardcover
As Leo and Diane Dillon tell the reader in their illuminating Afterword: "Bill "Bojangles" Robinson (1878-1949) is know as the greatest tap dancer of all time. His fame has reached mythic proportions. He had charm and charisma and, it was said "He talked with his feet." His rhythms were so intricate and fast it was impossible for other dancers to repeat some of them..." The Dillon's introduce a whole new generation to the sheer joy of Mr Bojangles, a dancer who made "art with his feet" in this deceptively simple and creative picture book biographical sketch. Their short rhyming text with its engaging and repetitive "Rap a tap tap-think of that!" is filled with rhythm and motion. But it's their clever, bold, bright, and elegant illustrations that make this book stand out and sparkle, and youngsters will feel the passion and energy with each page turn as they watch Bojangles almost dance off the pages. Perfect for little ones 3-7, Rap A Tap Tap is a playful and captivating, interactive celebration of both Bill Robinson and tap dance...Rap a tap tap-think of that!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. Allen Greenbaum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on September 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Boasting two Caldecott Medals, the Society of Guild Illustrators' Gold Medal, three Coretta Scott King Awards, four "Boston Globe-Horn Book" Awards, three "New York Times" Best Illustrated Book Awards, the NAACP Image Award, and honorary doctorates from Parsons ("make it work!") School of Design, Leo and Diane Dillon have an impressive collective vita, as well as enough honors to re-write "The 12 Days of Christmas" as a list of their multiple wards and honors.

Fine and good, what have they done for us lately?

Well, in 2002, they captured another King Award with the graphic stylings, and rhythmic narration of "Rap A Tap Tap," their kids' story about famed tap dancer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson." Leave the bittersweet side of the story to the Sammy Davis, Jr. song; this Bojangles is a jovial dandy--wearing a fancy suit or tuxedo, bow tie, boutonniere, top hat, a cane, and one great big Pied Piper of a smile. The Dillons remove him from movie studios and dance halls, focusing mainly on Bojangles the street dancer, entertaining crowds of ordinary people wherever he found them. Thus, we see Bojangles' moves in a variety of settings: On the street, in a park, a bus stop, a market by an elevated train, in front of a church, inside a movie theater and by a fancy hotel. The Dillons capture the tension and dramatic flair of his entire body, his high stepping moves, and especially his active legwork, the latter through multiple images suggesting movement.

While this is not a biography of Bojangles (the only real reference is an informative, albeit necessarily sanitized four-paragraph afterwards), the Dillons largely chose not to set the book with a particular era.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "renovia" on September 15, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Bojangles, a historical tapper is the center of this book. Told in rhythmic rhymes, the story takes you with Bojangles as he taps throughout his city. A great book to read in the music classroom. Your students can chant with you or just keep the steady beat with their tappin' feet! Excellent choice!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By p31Mom on November 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Delightful book! We make sure that our child's reading is illustrated with a variety of ethinicities (not every single book, but in his library/reading material there is overall representative mix) and I am happy to say that this one contains a nice mixture and its lead character is, of course, African American. Well illustrated. Not as realistic as I usually like books to be but very clear in its representations but with enough blurring of reality to allow for the imagination to almost see him dance on the pages. My son loves this book! It is usually the first or second at bed time as he "tap dances" all the way through the story!

There is one hestitation in my recommendation. About half way through the book the lines are written, "He danced through a place people called the skids...(showing very poor neighborhood and what appear to be homeless people, as well as a church and pastor, all of which are dark skinned)...He danced through crowds of laughing kids...(which does include one light skinned girl). I choose to change these lines to "he danced through a place called Harlem...He danced through crowds of laughing children". Re the later I prefer the term children over kids for many reasons and it was already not going to rhyme due to changing the former. I changed the skids to Harlem because rather than introducing a negative concept (son is only 3 I don't think he really needs to know about skids or homeless people yet if it is in my power to protect him and provide for him) to a historically acurate concept of dance and arts coming from Harlem to the rest of American culture in the 20's. I just sloughed off a question re people standing around a fire in a barrel as enjoying themselves out of doors together.
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Format: Hardcover
Leo and Diane Dillon have been awarded two Caldecott Medals, the Society of Guild Illustrators' Gold Medal, three Coretta Scott King Awards, four "Boston Globe-Horn Book" Awards, three "New York Times" Best Illustrated Book Awards, and the NAACP Image Award. Dillon and Dillon have been honored with a variety awards for their many joint works. Most notably including, Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears, For the People Could Fly, Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions, and The Secret River. From glancing at other works illustrated and written by the duo, the art style and topic of African American history appears similar.
Rap A Tap Tap, Here’s Bojangles- Think of that!, is a Coretta Scott King Honoree for Illustration. This book skims the surface of the energetic life of Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, condensing his entire live into a short poem with vibrant illustrations. The story focuses on the small snapshots of Robinson’s everyday life, until finally he reaches the point of stardom. Every other page repeats the same verse “Rap a tap tap-think of that,” creating a repeating, rhythmic beat that mimics the mood of the tap dancer’s movements. The afterward provides more in-depth information, including Robinson’s most major life accomplishments. The book conveys the feeling well, however is lacking in regards to the biographical content. If it was not for the afterward on the last page, important life events would be left unknown. The book has no clear trajectory of a series of events, however it still flows pleasantly in a logical, poetic manner.
The authors clearly intended to convey the vivacious life of the popular tap dancer, in a way that young children, anywhere from two years old and up, could comprehend.
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Rap a Tap Tap: Here's Bojangles - Think of That! (Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Books)
This item: Rap a Tap Tap: Here's Bojangles - Think of That! (Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Books)
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