The Song and Dance Man

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Nicole Leroy
Instructor Michelle Hudgens
English 250
10 October 2012

The Song and Dance Man
I choose the book The Song and Dance Man. This book was one of my favorites as a child. It was written by Karen Ackerman and illustrated by Stephen Gammell. The Song and Dance Man received the Caldecott Medal in 1989. The story is about grandchildren coming to visit their grandparents. The grandpa decided to show his grandchildren his past life as a song and dance man and what people did for entertain long before television. The theme of the story is that family is more important than being famous. He shows them that he appreciates his past but loves the life he currently has. The grandpa shows throughout the story how much he loves and cherishes his time with his grandchildren. He also shares with them his former life as a song and dance man on the vaudeville stage and what people use to do for entertainment. In the attic, the grandchildren see the posters of grandpa from the past realizing that he was once a famous dancer and entertainer. The underlying message is that it is important to stay young at heart. Grandpa danced away even though he had to cushion the corns on his feet. In the story, the grandpa says, “I wonder if my tap shoes still fit?” all while he is smiling, knowing that the shoes will still fit. The grandpa shows the children that it is ok to make believe and use your imagination to have a good time by sharing his dancing and magic tricks. The grandchildren get to explore their own creativity by trying on old clothes pretending, singing and dancing their selves. The story is told from the point of view of the grandchildren. You can feel the admiration, respect, and love that they have for their grandfather. As the grandchildren watch their grandpa, they clap their hands and call out “Yay, Grandpa!” This sets the light-hearted, fun, loving mood and tone of the story. The language used by the narrator is calm, loving, with...
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