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Cover image for Giant dance party
Giant dance party
1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Greenwillow Books, ©2013.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 30 cm
Six-year-old Lexy Tanz loves dancing so much that she wants to share her skills with others, and when she is becoming discouraged because no one wants lessons from a girl so small, a herd of hairy giants arrives to test her teaching ability.
Reading Level:
Ages 4-8.
Added Author:


Call Number

On Order



Betsy Bird knows all there is to know about kids and books. She is the New York Public Library's youth collections specialist, she writes a blog hosted by School Library Journal, and has served on the Newbery Medal committee. Now Betsy Bird has written a children's book of her own, Giant Dance Party.

In this rollicking picture book, a group of giants shows up at Lexy's door wanting dance lessons. After some initial hesitation, Lexy is happy to teach them, and her dance classes end with all her students--as well as Lexy herself--overcoming their fears and putting on a boogying performance.

Brandon Dorman, an award-winning artist whose work can be found in The Wizard, and on the covers of Fablehaven and Goosebumps, brings the giants and their dance moves to life with his full-color illustrations.

Reviews 6

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-Bouncy Lexy loves to dance, but because of her stage fright and dislike of recitals, she tells her parents that she's done with it. Convinced that instructors never have to perform on a public stage, she opts to teach. She has trouble finding students and is ready to quit until five bumbling, furry blue giants with antennae show up at her door. After much instruction, they are ready for a recital, but once in front of an audience, they freeze with fright. Lexy overcomes her own performance anxiety and comes to their rescue onstage. Soon she and the giants are showing off their creative moves. The story nicely weaves together a realistic fear with fantasy elements. The characters' cheery personalities leap off the pages. Children will identify with Lexy and chuckle when they see the giants dancing. Dorman's peppy, full-color digital artwork, printed on glossy paper, pumps up the story line. Bird and Dorman's efforts blend into a delightful picture book with a feel-good ending.-Lynn Vanca, Freelance Librarian, Akron, OH (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Readers will finish this debut picture book from children's librarian and book blogger Bird understanding the value of facing one's fears, but even more likely, they'll want lessons in Irish step dancing and the electric slide. Lexy loves dancing at home, but stage fright takes over during recitals: "She'd freeze like an ice pop and never dance a step. Not one. Not ever." Dorman's (Snowman Magic) candy-colored digital illustrations capture Lexy's mood swings as she sulkily announces she's quitting dance, attempts to overcome her stage fright, and hits on the perfect solution: she'll become a dance teacher. Response to Lexy's advertisements is muted (read: nonexistent) until five furry blue giants appear on her doorstep, requesting lessons. Bird's chatty narrative is dynamic and funny, as are Dorman's images of the twirling giants, which resemble a cross between pigs and fuzzy indigo caterpillars. Happily, Bird sticks to fun over "message moments," though Lexy's exuberant final performance has a grain of advice for readers attempting something scary: don't overthink it. Ages 4-8. Author's agent: Stephen Barbara, Foundry Literary + Media. Illustrator's agent: Peter Lott, Lott Reps. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

Lexy loves to dance, until recital time when--"blammo!"--stage fright hits. She becomes an out-of-the-spotlight dance teacher instead, taking on five blue giants as pupils. When stage fright strikes her students, Lexy steps up to help. Bird is light and subtle with the message, and the illustrations of a zestful, rosy-cheeked girl and cute fuzzy creatures dance along with the droll text. (c) Copyright 2013. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

Lexy lives to dance, but she dreads those terrifying recitals. Somehow all the joy she feels in dancing deserts her entirely when she is on a stage in front of an audience. She freezes like an ice pop. All her efforts at overcoming this phobia fail, so she quits dance school. She decides to take a totally different approach by becoming a dance teacher, since they don't have to perform. But in spite of great advertising and preparation, not a single pupil appears. The tale leaves the realm of the ordinary by introducing a group of fuzzy giants who truly love to dance, begging Lexy to teach them. Soon, they are leaping and step dancing and doing the twist. But at their recital, they turn into matching ice pops. Lexy leaps onto the stage, dances with joy and thaws the giants, who join her in a rip-roaring, crowd-pleasing spectacle, and, voila, stage fright is over for all of them. Strong, action-packed language and syntax that speaks directly to readers keep the tale flowing at a brisk pace and make the fantasy elements completely believable. Lexy is a charmer, full of pep and verve and enthusiasm, fully realized in Dorman's large-scale digital illustrations as she sprightly cavorts through the pages. Sheer joy. (Picture book. 3-8)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

This picture book, by prominent ­librarian-blogger Bird, includes such irresistible ingredients as a determined young girl, furry blue giants, and lots and lots of dancing. It begins, however, with a sign the girl has painted: I quit ballet and tap and jazz and tango and Scottish Highland dancing! Apparently, Lexy loves to dance but hates recitals because she always freezes in fright. Dorman depicts Lexy as cartoonishly cute, with her big head and nimble body, dancing around with joy offstage at least. Lexy hits upon the solution of becoming a dance teacher and advertises her free services. Dorman's versions of Lexy's only customers huge blue creatures with antennae, little ears, pig noses, and overpowering enthusiasm are an unmitigated delight. After they overcome Lexy's reluctance to teach them, these lumbering giants inspire Lexy to dance onstage without fear or worry. In addition to the sweet outcome (a wild rumpus of sorts), librarians will note the names of Lexy's toys: Anne, Carroll, and Moore.--Nolan, Abby Copyright 2010 Booklist

New York Review of Books Review

Lexy loves to dance but hates to get up on stage. She decides instead to be a dance teacher. When five blue furry giants enroll, each one is assigned something to learn: Gully gets Irish step dancing; MacDuff works on interpretive dance. All of this ends in a giant dance recital at which everyone learns to conquer stage fright. Bird, a children's book specialist at the New York Public Library, writes like someone who ought to know what children like to read. And while children generally don't dance at the library, they do like a rollicking good dance party.