Title: Elephant Dance: A Journey to India
Author: Theresa Heine
Illustrator: Sheila Moxley
Publisher: Barefoot Books
Pages: Hardcover; 40
Release Date: October 1, 2004
Source: School Library
Recommended to: Those looking for a simple and fun look at India and its culture.
Difficulty Level: A perfect read-aloud for children in first through third grade. Groups past that should be able to read one their own.
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Ravi and Anjali are fascinated by their grandfather's stories of India, where the sun is like a ferocious tiger, the wind is like a wild horse, and monsoon rains cascade from the sky like waterfalls. Ravi particularly loves to hear about the festival of Divaali, where parading elephants take pride of place in their grandfather's memories, and he dreams of having an elephant dance to the tune he composes on his flute.
In addition to an evocative, beautifully written story, Elephant Dance also contains endnotes on the cultural heritage of India, making it a perfect introduction to Indian life and traditions.
Elephant Dance is a superb and simple look into India's customs and landscapes for children! Ravi, a young boy living in America, learns about this far away land from his visiting grandfather. I loved how grandfather described everything in India. His descriptions provide the perfect opportunity to teach children about similies!
The end of the book has pages with more information about India, about the animals in the book, and about the spices and foods that are mentioned. I was enamored with the fact that there was so much information about India packed into a children's book! Although the writing itself is simple enough for young children, this is definitely a book that you could use with older children as well.
My class simply adored the pictures. Each page is so bright and detailed, it's extremely difficult not to be interested in the story. I was able to read the entire 40 pages without a single second grade child fidgeting. That in itself is an amazing recommendation.
Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.