Friday, October 13, 2006

Poetry Friday: Drumbeat in our Feet

This Poetry Friday's entry is a review of a rockin' new picture book, Drumbeat in Our Feet. Written by Patricia A. Keeler (an African dance fanatic) and Júlio T. Leitão (an African dance instructor), Drumbeat in Our Feet captures the beauty and joy of African dance through descriptive text, singsong verse, and gorgeous full-color illustrations by Keeler.

Each two-page spread has information on an aspect of African dance on the left page. Keeler and Leitão discuss origins, traditions, types of dance, image dancing, costumes and body painting, libations, musical instruments, drums, and other elements of African dance. On the right page, picture book verse adds life to the story. Here's an example and this week's Poetry Friday entry:

We are the children of the ancestors,
singing the songs,
dancing the steps to a story
that never ends.
African rhythm in our steps.
African drubeat in our feet!

Not rhyming verse, but poetry nonetheless.

Drumbeat in Our Feet concludes with a newspaper-like article on young dancers in the New York African dance troupe Batoto Yetu. Drumbeat in Our Feet is perfect for children ages 5-10 and highly recommended for dance and art fans of any age.
Liz B. is on the Poetry Friday roundup this week at A Chair, A Fireplace and a Tea Cozy.