Sherman Dances by Douglas D. Goble is a children’s book that introduces children to the principles of movement. Sherman is a mile-long snake who travels up the California coast to learn how. He learns a series of dance steps called the brain dance. In addition, he learns about non-locomotor movements such as twist, turn, and stretch. He learns about locomotor movements like skip, jump, and gallop. He learns about pathways and making shapes on high, medium, and low levels. He also visits places that are reminders of famous dancers such as Paul Taylor, Alvin Ailey, and Gene Kelly. He even learns about the dance moves of Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley.
Each page contains questions that encourage children to perform the actions that are described on the page. For example, on the Michael Jackson Page, children are asked if they can balance on both of their toes. I think this would be a great book to teach children the elementary principles of dance. Parents and children could do the movements suggested by the questions as well.
The end of the book contains short facts about the famous dancers mentioned in the book as well as a glossary of important dance words. It would be fun to read the book and use YouTube to look up dances from the famous performers mentioned. That way, children could be exposed to a great variety of dancers and choreographers.
I love books that are fun and interesting while at the same time they teach children. There are not many children’s’ books that I know of that instruct on the fundamental principles of dance. The drawings in Sherman Dances are very simple and the text is not overly complicated, but children will have a great time learning about dancing! Coupled with videos of the famous dancers mentioned (as well as doing the movements suggested), it is a great interactive resource.
*All opinions are my own. Regina
Purchase Sherman Dances on Amazon HERE