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Karen Ackerman's Song and Dance Man

Song and Dance Man
Karen Ackerman

Song and Dance Man is a children's book written by Karen Ackerman and illustrated by Stephen Gammell. Published by SCHOLASTIC INC, it was awarded the 1989 Caldecott Medal. It came with an audio cassette tape of the story, narrated by Mary Bowman, with music by Daniel A. Borwasser, Produced by Robert Mack Productions.

Stephen Gammell's great illustrations
It is a wonderful little book and I hope the author and publisher don't mind that wehave recreated one or two illustrations here.

The story concerns three children who come to visit their Grandpa's house. Grandpa talks about his Vaudeville days when he was a song and dance man. "I wonder if my tap shoes still fit." Grandpa said. So they go to the attic and go digging through his old props. Soon it’s show time for the grand children. The kids love it and ask for more, but grandpa shakes his head. They go back down stairs remembering his good old days.

It is not really a tap collectible but to me this book is very American. I mean grandpa used be a Vaudevillian and shows his grand children tap dancing in the attic. I suppose this is not really a common American story, but it's all the more unusual and romantic here in Japan. Well, with a name like “Song and Dance Man” I have to like it.

This book would make a great gift for a young dancer. You can buy a copy at Amazon. They have other books by Karen Ackerman, as well.

— Shinichi Matsumoto