Monday, February 4, 2008

Happy Feet

I slide show I made from pages from a great book about the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem.
I combined it with different versions of Stompin At The Savoy
reviews of the book from amazon:
Grade 2-4–A boy affectionately called Happy Feet sits in his father's shoeshine shop in Harlem and listens to the story of the night he was born in 1926. On that same night, the doors opened across the street at the famous Savoy Ballroom, one of the first venues where blacks and whites could dance together. Twistmouth himself knocked on the door, asking the cost of a premium shine. No charge,' I told him, ˜it's jelly on the cuff.' ˜Well then, alligator,' he said, ˜are your boots laced?' And he ticketed us both across the street to the head of the line. The story captures the mood and language of Harlem in the '20s and '30s, and introduces some of the famous faces at the Savoy, including Twistmouth George Ganaway, Musclehead Frank Manning, Big Bea, and others who invented dance steps that became famous in the swing era. Lewis's rich-toned watercolors bleed in and out of focus for the dancing scenes, transmitting excitement and joy. ˜When folk are swinging,' Whitey sings, ain't nobody better than nobody! Salt and pepper–equals! Cats and chicks–equals! Everybody just coming to dance.' Happy Feet takes a backseat to the characters in his father's story, serving really as a framing device; it works fine for this charming, brief tale that makes a dramatic read-aloud introduction to swing and the Savoy.–Nina Lindsay, Oakland Public Library, CA
From Booklist
K-Gr. 3. In the mid-1930s, a boy sits in Pop's Shoeshine Shop in Harlem and listens to his father recall the amazing night when the boy was born: March 12, 1926, opening night at the Savoy Ballroom across the street. The story is told on two parallel, nostalgic planes. The first is the shoeshine shop, where famed dancers Long-Legged George and Whitey come in for a shine as the boy listens to the story and watches the line grow in front of the Savoy. The second is the same shop in 1926, when "Twistmouth himself" took the father across to the newly opened dance palace, where he danced joyfully until joining his wife back at home for the birth of their son. Told from the boy's point of view, the story is brought to life through Lewis' beautifully lit, expressive watercolor paintings. The appended author's note includes information about the Savoy Ballroom and the Lindy Hop as well as brief biographies of five famous dancers from the early period of the dance club. Carolyn Phelan


blogger templates | Make Money Online