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Who Wants to Dance?

A young family takes a joyous and colorful walk through their neighborhood and celebrate the everyday things in life.

Photo of Laura Hancock

Written by

Tapping in my green shoes. 

Stomping in my blue shoes. 

Twirling in my red shoes. 

Marching out the door. 

 

“Who sees a yellow flower?” whispers Momma. 

Me! I do! Me! 

Flitter-twitter yellow flower.

Sway-play yellow flower.

So we danced the yellow flower dance. 

 

“Who sees an orange butterfly?” asks sister. 

Where? There! I do!

Flitter-flutter orange butterfly.

Swish-swoosh orange butterfly.

So we danced the orange butterfly dance.  

Then we marched some more.

 

“Who sees a brown stick? shouts brother. 

Me! Me! I do. 

He bangs the brown stick on a wall. 

Thud! Clud! Click! CRACK!

So we danced the broken brown stick dance. 

Then we marched some more. 

 

“Look, pink gum,” yells baby. 

“Don’t touch the pink gum baby!” everyone screams. 

No one danced for the pink gum. 

 

“Who sees a big purple bus?” squeals sister. 

Me! I do! Me too!

Vroom-Zoom the big purple bus stops at the stop sign.

Wheesh-Whoosh the big purple bus picks up all the people.

We danced to celebrate the big purple bus. 

 

“Who sees a rainbow puddle?” asks Momma.

Where? Down there! Me!

Sparkle and ripple rainbow puddle.

We danced the rainbow puddle dance.

Then we marched some more.

 

“Who sees the bronze statue?” shouts brother.

Tall and grand the bronze statue stands.

We’re marching and strutting to brotherly love.

We danced, happy to be free.

 

We have places to walk to. 

Lots of places to see, and dances to dance. 

But right now, it’s time for Momma and me. 

 

Describe the intended vision for your early childhood book manuscript in 1-2 sentences

The book aims to entertain and engage families and caregivers in a fun celebratory interaction with their neighborhood sights during a walk. It also hopes to inspire families, educators, and caregivers to explore their local areas and create their own joyous walks.

Share your suggested book title

Who Wants to Dance?

PLEASE USE THE VERSION OF THIS QUESTION AT THE TOP OF THE SUBMISSION FORM: Share a draft of your manuscript (250 word limit, not including title).

Tapping in my green shoes. Stomping in my blue shoes. Twirling in my red shoes. Marching out the door. “Who sees a yellow flower?” whispers Momma. Me! I do! Me! Flitter-twitter yellow flower. Sway-play yellow flower. So we danced the yellow flower dance. “Who sees an orange butterfly?” asks sister. Where? There! I do! Flitter-flutter orange butterfly. Swish-swoosh orange butterfly. So we danced the orange butterfly dance. Then we marched some more. “Who sees a brown stick? shouts brother. Me! Me! I do. He bangs the brown stick on a wall. Thud! Clud! Click! CRACK! So we danced the broken brown stick dance. Then we marched some more. “Look, pink gum,” yells baby. “Don’t touch the pink gum baby!” everyone screams. No one danced for the pink gum. “Who sees a big purple bus?” squeals sister. Me! I do! Me too! Vroom-Zoom the big purple bus stops at the stop sign. Wheesh-Whoosh the big purple bus picks up all the people. We danced to celebrate the big purple bus. “Who sees a rainbow puddle?” asks Momma. Where? Down there! Me! Sparkle and ripple rainbow puddle. We danced the rainbow puddle dance. Then we marched some more. “Who sees the bronze statue?” shouts brother. Tall and grand the bronze statue stands. We’re marching and strutting to brotherly love. We danced, happy to be free. We have places to walk to. Lots of places to see, and dances to dance. But right now, it’s time for Momma and me.

How has this book been informed by early childhood language development research and evidence? (response minimum 250 Characters)

This book shows families one way to interact, bond and spend time with each other through a walk in the outside world. It also will build their child's knowledge with fun and joyful celebratory interactions with everyday things in nature and in the community, and with parents and siblings. The text shows that parents, families or caregivers do not need a lot of money to engage their children in experiences that will nurture them and support their learning. The text in mindful of the time parents and sibling spend together is important to the development of the growing child and the cohesiveness of the family structure. The text uses mainly tier one vocabulary words such as color words, high-frequency words, and sentence repetition to stimulate their brain and vocabulary development with the talk and play around the words and experiences in this book.

Please describe any familiarity you may have with Philadelphia and its residents? (optional question)

Although I haven't been to Philadelphia, I lived in Pittsburgh in the late '70s as a child when the Steelers and Pirates were huge, and there was a blizzard. It was fun for a kid because of the sports and music at school, building snow forts, and receiving so many Clark bars on Halloween that we had to freeze them.

How have you crafted this manuscript to resonate with and/or reflect the experiences of those living in urban contexts? (optional question)

Because the family go on a walk through their neighborhood and celebrate nature and city/urban things, such as a bus and a statue, the reader will see themselves in this text and inspire them to explore their community in a joyous interaction and create bonds as the family does in this story. While the text is for 0-3 year old, I also indirectly wrote about brotherly love and freedom symbols of Philidelphia, "We marched and strutted to brotherly love. We danced, happy to be free." to engage families in conversations around deeper issues or shades of meaning, and in the hopes, the book grows with a child.

Location: Country

USA

Location: State or Department

FL

Location: City

Orlando

Website URL (optional question)

Literacy Junkie https://www.literacyjunkie.com/

Tell us more about you / your team

Currently, I'm an Assistant Professor of Education at The University of The Bahamas. Previous to this position, I was a Reading Invention teacher and coordinator in urban and suburban K-12 schools, as well as a 1st, 2nd and 3rd-grade teacher in an urban area in San Diego, California. My husband and I live in Orlando, FL with our Border Collie Jack, our rescued Tabby cat Betty, and Bam Bam, a little Pomeranian-Chihuahua mix.

Provide an example visual identity for a look and feel you might like to achieve. ( (optional question, 3-5 visuals)

Multiple Choice - Have you been previously published (online, self-published, and print included)?

  • Yes

If yes, please list titles and publications.

Curriculum such as Global Book Bags resources for students to take home to develop global competencies, practice literacy skills, and engage parents/guardians in learning activities. Which can be found here: https://cgep.sdsu.edu/resources/global_bookbags.html Professional Learning Guide modules and PowerPoint Slides for eductor texts and Literacy Training Modules

Do you have an agent?

  • No

How did you hear about the Challenge? (optional question)

  • Someone in my network (word of mouth)

What best describes you? (optional question)

  • I am/we are a formal part of a University or Research Institution

21 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Robyn Campbell
Team

Nice job. I have one about dancing too. Best of luck.

Photo of Perlina Murray
Team

Nice. I think you should add the suggested age group to your introduction. .Also tweak msnuscript to make it more child friendly, with rhymes and visuals.

Photo of Laura Hancock
Team

Hi Perlina, The challenge is for 0-3 so I'm not sure why your suggesting I add the age group, also the challenge doesn't ask for illustrations, just the text. In my opinion, rhyming is not always needed. It's also very challenging to write a good rhyming book because of the rhythm, sentence structure, and choosing the correct word(s) for the story to make sense along the way. There is a lot of awful bad rhyming books out there. For me, children's books don't need to be in rhyme and I don't want this one in rhyme. Thanks for your feedback.

Photo of Perlina Murray
Team

Yes it asks for illustrations, and also illustrations will be fun for the child to be able to see. A children's book without illustrations has never existed. I do not know for now. Also thechallenge is for ages o-3 years but some of the content from stories do not keep to the age group.

Photo of Estela Kennen
Team

I really liked your story (especially the gum part!). But I keep thinking the only rainbow puddles I've seen have oil in them... not exactly a thing I want to encourage kids to splish, splash, splatter in.

Photo of Laura Hancock
Team

Hi Estela,
Yeah, I thought of that too, and I was aware of that issue. My niece has two-year-old twins and sometimes they are so imaginative in their pretend play. Good point, I'll rethink that part.

Laura

Photo of Laura Hancock
Team

Hi, you've got me really thinking about the rainbow puddle. It could be a reflection and the illustrator could draw a reflection from a building or poster into the puddle, or a reflection of the children's shoes.
Thanks, it does make me think about it.
Laura

Photo of Estela Kennen
Team

Yes, that had occurred to me, too. Could definitely work!

Photo of Dawnnbooks .
Team

From the colorful shoes to colourful bugs... It was indeed a Rainbow of colours.

I particularly like the idea of a Rainbow puddle.

Nicely done.

Photo of Laura Hancock
Team

Hi,
Thanks. Someones else mentioned the rainbow puddles because of the oil. I was also thinking imaginative children and the colors in the text too. I'll have to rethink including rainbow puddles.
Thanks,
Laura

Photo of Dawnnbooks .
Team

Mmmmm oil never entered my head.
I took as a magical puddle.
People really do see things differently.

The question now becomes what was your vision for that puddle and how to tighten the narrative.

Photo of Itika Gupta
Team

Hi Laura Hancock   welcome to the Challenge Community!
Your story is a very fun read, taking the child through literacy tools like learning about colors so beautifully while the child goes about little activities throughout the day in the city.
How might you evolve the story to make it more conversational between the caregiver narrating the story and the child listening ? Could the activities be questions rather than statements ?

Photo of Laura Hancock
Team

Hi Itika,
Thank you for your feedback. This was only the fourth draft so I will think about how to integrate questions instead of statements. I was hoping to leave that open to interpretation as it could be the dad or another sibling. But I can see how the last two sentences, "I have places to walk to. Lots of places to see, and dances to dance. Yippee!" lean more to a child. Also, I wasn't sure to bring in a dad as there are many books with two parents. So I was thinking about how to address different family structures, so these different types of families could see themselves in this book. However, I will like your feedback and will rethink some of the ideas.
Thanks,
Laura

Photo of Laura Hancock
Team

HI Itika,
I've noticed that a lot of your comments in this challenge are geared toward the caregiver narrating the story and asking questions. Is that what you are interested in as the text itself having questions to expand the conversation or the text (whole book) itself leading to questions that expand the conversation before, during and after reading the text? So basically are looking for a text that has a question/ answer or discussion between two characters such as caregiver and child?

As "Expands the Conversation" "Manuscripts must be additive to the children’s book space. We're eager to think beyond current narratives with stories that elevate nontraditional spaces, identities, cultural experiences, ethnic perspectives, racial backgrounds, and community experiences" I'm trying to clarify this criterion.

Thanks again,
Laura

Photo of Kelly Andrews
Team

Haha, I like the gum line. Some surprises here. Nice job!

Photo of Laura Hancock
Team

Thanks. I was hoping for the little twist.

Photo of Layne Hubbard
Team

Dear Laura,

I love your idea of celebrating the mundane moments of life—such as a daily walk! It reminds me of poet Mary Oliver's intense awareness on her forays into nature. This, it seems to me, is the basis of mindfulness: Are we aware of the richness that surrounds us? Do we relish in our daily opportunities to experience life? Do we share in these explorations together?

It's these indelible moments that, while not often recorded in words, are those most imprinted on our hearts. They inform the ways we interact with the world.

Best wishes!
Layne

Photo of Laura Hancock
Team

Hi Layne,
Thanks. When I watch my niece's two-year-old twins, I'm always delighted and sometimes surprised at the little or big things that may bring them joy or frighten them. I love the mindfulness perspective you brought. Thank you. Laura

Photo of Ashanti Antonio Prescott
Team

Nice crafting. Should most definitely encourage some level of interaction.

Photo of Laura Hancock
Team

Much appreciated. Thanks for reading and commenting on my manuscript.

Photo of Ashanti Antonio Prescott
Team

Hey, you are welcome. That's why we are here.