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Stompin' at the Savoy Hardcover – September 7, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 4—Apprehensive about her jazz dance recital despite the encouragement of her three bebopping great-aunties, Mindy stomps off to her room to cry. Spying a talking drum outside her window, she follows it down the fire escape to find herself whisked back in time to the Savoy Ballroom of the '20s or '30s. Stepping inside, she is swept up with dancers doing the Lindy Hop to the bouncing music of Chick Webb, Benny Goodman, and Ella Fitzgerald. "Somebody's trying to mess with my mind," she says, puzzling over the clothing and hairstyles. As a Battle of the Bands begins, clarinets wailing and drumsticks pounding, Mindy dodges the club bouncer and finds herself entered in the dance competition, along with her suddenly youthful aunts. She performs her recital dance for the enthusiastic crowd, then lands back on her bed at home where she announces that she's ready for her performance. Her aunties respond with perfectly executed splits. Rhythmic gouache and pastel paintings depicting swinging dancers and jiving musicians perfectly complement the lyrical energy and magical realism of the cadenced prose. A terrific read-aloud, Stompin' at the Savoy is brimming with the irrepressible energy and "happy feet" of the Lindy Hoppers. A splendid shelf-mate would be Ntozake Shange's Ellington Was Not a Street (S & S, 2004).—Joyce Adams Burner, Hillcrest Library, Prairie Village, KS
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 2-4. Nervous about her jazz recital dance, Mindy follows a magical talking drum to the Savoy Ballroom in 1920s Harlem, where she moves her happy feet to the loud, joyful music of the legendary bands, and joins the dancers shaking and stomping, swinging and strutting. Young readers won't recognize the famous jazz names (from Chick Webb to Benny Goodman), but Campbell, who is best known for her adult books, and renowned watercolorist Yarde create an exuberant sense of the legendary ballroom with the great artists in music and dance who give the child the strength to join in ("She felt as if her body was a drumbeat"). The watercolors, with sharply etched white outlines and shapes, express the magical realism and rhythms of the shimmying dancers and musicians lit up in the night. Mindy's return home becomes just as magical when her three great-aunts inspire her with their own dance moves. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Grade Level: 1 and up
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Philomel; First Edition edition (September 7, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399241973
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399241970
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 0.5 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,804,517 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By K. Bourne on June 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I believe this children's book is novelist Bebe Moore Campbell's last. Her unexpected death is a blow to modern letters. She collaborated with internationally famous watercolorist Richard Yarde on this treasure that recalls the days of the Savoy Ballroom. In the Seventies Yarde did the installation that traveled nationally recreating the Savoy and the great swing dancers and bands that were its appeal.These illustrations recall that work and are inspired as well by Campbell's sweet story of a little girl who is frightened about performing in a dance recital.

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By P. Golden on March 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this book based on the illustrations by Richard Tarde. I had seen an exhibition of his paintings which I liked. While by no means disappointed, the illustrations in the book don't quite live up to my expectations as compared to his art "art". None the less I am glad to have this book in my library (of children's books).
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