Citation: Beaumont, K. (2004). Baby Danced the Polka. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers.
Description: This ALA Notable Children’s Book features one un-sleepy baby who wants to skip nap time to dance with animals at the farm.
Uses: Baby Danced the Polka could be used for a baby or toddler storytime, where children can come and manipulate the flaps of the book. It can also be used in a one on one setting, where an adult is reading directly with a young child. Librarians and teachers can also use this book in displays and in recommendations for parents/guardians who want books that will help them get their children moving.
(2010). Kirkus Reviews. (Book Review).
(2004). Publishers Weekly. (Book Review).
Tags: parents and children, animals, dance
Citation: Bluemle, E. (2009). How Do You Wokka-Wokka? Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press.
Ages: 3 – 7
Grades: PreK – 2nd
Description: How Do You Wokka-Wokka? encourages readers to get moving and learn how to wokka along to the beat of the text through rhymes and images. Readers are invited to join the characters in the book for a neighborhood dance party.
Uses: How Do You Wokka-Wokka?’s rhyming text and vibrant images make it perfect for a toddler or elementary storytime. This book can be used in a program about dance, and librarians/teachers can invite children to dance like the characters in the book while the book is being read, or when it is finished.
Kirkus Reviews. (2009). How do you Wokka-Wokka? (Book Review).
Publisher’s Weekly. (2009). How do you Wokka-Wokka? (Book Review).
Tags: dance, rhyme, diversity
Citation: McQuinn, A. (2011). If you’re happy and you know it! Cambridge, MA: Barefoot Books.
Ages: 4 – 8
Grades: PreK – 3
Description: In this book, McQuinn covers all of the lyrics of the original If You’re Happy and You Know It song. On each page, children from around the world dance along to the lyrics of the traditional rhyme. The end of this adaptation features children saying hello in their native language.
Uses: McQuinn’s text can be used in a preschool or younger elementary storytime or program. Since many children know the rhyme, it would be easy to invite them to join in and move with the story as it is read. It can also be read to small children who have not heard If You’re Happy and You Know It. This could also be used in a program about music, or to perhaps entice a reluctant reader to read.
Review Sources: none found
Search Terms: dance, rhyme, nursery rhyme
Citation: Ayres, K. (2008). Up, down, and around. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.
Ages: 2 – 5
Grades: PreK – Kindergarten
Description: Up, Down, and Around is a wonderful introduction to gardening and planting food. The book pairs simple, rhythmic text with vibrant images of children exploring the growth of crops such as corn and pumpkins in a garden.
Use: Up, Down, and Around is a story that can be used for preschool or toddler storytimes. Children can be encouraged to mimic the growth patterns of the plants highlighted in the book.
Review Sources: none found.
Tags: plants, gardening, rhyme
Citation: Schmidt, K. (1985). The Gingerbread Man. New York: Scholastic, Inc.
Ages: 4 – 8
Grades: PreSchool – 3rd
Description: This classic nursery rhyme comes to life with the bright illustrations of Karen Schmidt. The storyline and rhyme follow a gingerbread man who, after being freshly baked and jumping out of the oven, out runs everybody, until he crosses paths with a fox.
Use: The bright images and familiar refrain of “run, run as fast as you can! You can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man” make it an ideal book to use in a preschool, toddler, or elementary storytime. The familiarity of the text will invite students to join in on the refrain. In order to incorporate physical activity into the storytime, librarians and teachers can get students to act out the old rhyme by doing activities such as: running in place and other activities.
Review Sources: none found.
Tags: nursery rhymes, rhyme
Citation: Andreae, G. (2004). Cock-a-Doodle-Doo! Barnyard Hullabaloo. Wilton, CT: Tiger Tales.
Grades: PreK – 1st
Description: In Cock-a-Doodle-Doo! Barnyard Hullabaloo bright images of animals on a farm are accompanied with rhyming text and descriptions of the actions being performed by each animal. Readers are invited to “gooble gobble” with a turkey or “skip skip” with a sheep.
Uses: Librarians, teachers, and other adults can use Andreae’s Cock-a-Doodle-Doo! Barnyard Hullabaloo in a storytime programs for elementary readers. The rhyming text will automatically engage readers and listeners, and librarians can get children moving by encouraging them to mimic the movement of the particular animal after each page is read. The book can also be used to teach readers about different types of animals, and to teach simple movement concepts to children within the context of a storytime based on animals, farm animals, or any related topic.
Review Sources: None found.
Search Terms: animals, animal movements, rhyme
Citation: Thompson, L. (2012). Hop, hop, jump! New York, NY: Margaret K. McElderry Books.
Age: 3 – 8
Description: Hop, Hop, and Jump!, with its bright illustrations and rhythmic text, is sure to get kids up and moving. Each page features children demonstrating different activities, such as jumping, twisting, hopping, and waggling. Thompson’s text also emphasizes each body part used to carry out each movement.
Uses: Hop, Hop, Jump! is a perfect text for use with toddlers and elementary students during storytime. The bright colors and rhyming text will capture children’s attention. Children can be encouraged to move along with the characters, and identify the body parts the characters in the story are moving.
Review Sources: None found
Tags: exercise, diversity, rhyme
Citation: Boynton, S. (1993). Barnyard dance!. Workman Publishing Co.
Ages: 1 – 4
Description: Boynton’s Barnyard Dance! is one of the best selling children’s books of all time. With it’s catchy rhymes, playful illustrations, and funky dance steps, Barnyard Dance! invites readers and listeners onto the farm for a hoedown. Readers can join the farm animals, including cows, pigs, chickens, ducks, and bunnies for a lively square dance.
Uses: Barnyard Dance! is a great book for teaching students about animals through a dance-centric storytime. Librarians/teachers can read the story and ask children to shake and move along with the different animals.
(1994). Barnyard Dance! (Book Review). Parents.
Barnyard Dance! (Book Review). Publishers Weekly.
Tags: rhyme, animals, dance, animal movements
Citation: Van Fleet, M. (2017). Dance. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.
Ages: 2 and up
Grades: PreK – Up
Description: In Dance, a baby chick learns how to dance from a friendly band of animals. The book includes jazzy rhymes such as “First thing Chickie Baby just wiggle your hips, and do the Hippopota Hula it goes like this:” that are paired with bright images of animals dancing.
Uses: With its jazzy text and vibrant art, this interactive board book is sure to get kids dancing along! This book can be used in a program or storytime about dance or animals, and librarians/teachers can invite children to dance like each animal while the book is being read.
Dance. (2017). Kirkus Reviews.
Tags: animals, dance, rhyme, children
Citation: Boynton, S. (2016). Dinosaur Dance! New York, NY: Little Simon Books.
Ages: 1 – 6
Grades: PreSchool – 2nd
Description: Dinosaur Dance! encourages readers to dance along with prehistoric creatures in this interactive, fun board book.
Uses: This board book can be used by parents or teachers to promote physical activity among young readers. Readers can mimic the dances performed by the dinosaurs in the book, learn the names of different types of dinosaurs, and learn about colors.
Review Sources: none.
Search Terms: rhyme, animals, animal movements, dance, differently-abled