Thursday, October 20, 2016

Review: Footloose by Kenny Loggins


Footloose by Kenny Loggins. Illustrated by Tim Bowers. With bonus CD performed by Kenny Loggins. 28 p. Moon Dance Press/ Quarto Publishing Group, October, 2016. 9781633221185. (Review from finished copy courtesy of publisher.)

As earworms go, very little beats Footloose, the 1984 hit co-written by Kenny Loggins and featured in the movie of the same name. While I love the song, I never fully mastered the lyrics. But as soon as I hear those opening notes to that long introduction, my mood immediately lifts and I find a spring in my step. Well, Loggins is a grandfather now, as he shares in his author's note. He took Footloose and reworked to create a dance party for his young granddaughter. 

The result is this exuberant picture book illustrated by Tim Bowers. Zookeeper Jack's about to close the zoo for the night. He and the animals have plans to party. Two little tykes slip back in unbeknownst to everyone and witness the festivities, which include a DJ elephant, dancin' monkeys, giraffes, and kangaroos. Even a line of rhinos get on the dance floor. 

The font color, size and even position on the pages make the words bounce and pop. Bowers' ebullient, textured art exudes joy and humor. The decorated end-pages add to the story as well. This is a read-aloud that begs to be sung and danced to. Make room for your listeners to bust out some moves. It is probably a good idea to take a listen to the bonus CD first. It definitely helps you ease through some of the trickier transitions. The hefty weight of this is sure to stand up to repeated requests for rereads. Visit Quarto Books to view a trailer and a pdf with suggested activities. 


Come one everybody! Cut loose!

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