Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin

Friday, July 6, 2012

Let's Dance

"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.  Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away."
Henry David Thoreau

Many living things dance whether by instinct, in response to a sound heard out and about in nature or to the beat of a favorite piece of music.  Sometimes the least likely object will trigger a jovial, jumping jive.  So it is in Duck Sock Hop (Dial Books for Young Readers) with words by Jane Kohuth and pictures by Jane Porter.

Ducks gather around a large box stuffed with socks.  These are no ordinary foot coverings, dull, plain and of one color.  These are as wild, vibrant and multi-patterned as the fowl wearing them.

Are our feathered friends content to simply don these unique creations?  No, they get ready, get set and go.

Three ducks boogie.  One duck rocks.  Two ducks stop and trade their socks.

Every rollicking routine is tried and mastered with aplomb.  As the music plays on, no party is complete without goodies to eat and drink; neatness not being a virtue of the dancing quackers.  Frolicking, frenzied fun begins to unravel.

Wildness winds down.  Friends bid one another farewell beneath a starry sky.  A box waits to be filled before another dancing-delight night.

Some writers pepper pages with notes, others like Jane Kohuth with letters and words but each creates music, a beat that begs.  Using rhythm and rhyme her ducks and their socks be-bop with abandon.  Her combination of web-footed creatures with hosiery creates a harmonious story eliciting laughter, toe-tapping and dare I say, a shoeless swirling and twirling by readers.

Jane Porter's illustrative technique of combining a variety of media digitally is fresh, alive, and full of joy.  Her pictures dance through the story as do the characters.  Her stamped feathers function to depict individuality in a bright array of colors within bold, black lines.

Not only a perfect read for the summer season but anytime readers long for words to roll off their tongues, stirring up a musical tune that will make its way to their feet, Duck Sock Hop written by Jane Kohuth with illustrations by Jane Porter is the title to grab.  Be sure to visit each of their websites linked to their names above. Get ready to dance and dance some more!

Jane Kohuth's talented teenage cousin has written a song to accompany the reading of this book embedded in her website.  Julie Danielson at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast has one of her famous chats with them both at her blog about this book.  Below is an interview of Jane Porter giving more information about her work.

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