Dancing in the Wings by Debbie Allen with pictures by Kadir Nelson is a beautiful and triumphant story which highlights the power of persistence and the beauty of dance. Sassy is a big footed, long legged girl who loves to dance ballet. She is taller than all the other girls in her class and her friends and brother won’t let her forget it. But when a big shot choreographer from Washington D.C. comes to her class, Sassy is determined to make an impression in hopes of getting selected for the summer program. Read along to see if Sassy’s long legs and big feet end up making moves in D.C..
Practice this Comprehension Strategy-Take a Picture Walk:
Dancing in the Wings is a wonderful story to use for a picture walk. Before you read, flip through your pages with your child and ask them what they are seeing. Who are the characters, where are they, what are they doing? The illustrator has done an amazing job capturing expression, ask your child if they can tell how the characters are feeling. Then, as you read, see if your child was correct about any of their assumptions. By doing this exercise before reading, your child will be more invested in the story and its outcomes.
Do this with your child:
After you read Dancing in the Wings put on some music and have a dance party together! You can play different styles of music and practice different styles of dancing. Try some classical and ballet like Sassy, or some pop and freestyle, you can also find music that has instructions while you dance like the Cha Cha Slide. Whatever you choose, have fun!
If you’re interested in sharing Dancing in the Wings with your child you can find it from Puffin Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House here. Please like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter & Instagram for more inspiration.