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Cover image for Dumpy La Rue
Dumpy La Rue
1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Henry Holt, 2001.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
A rhyming story about a pig whose passion for dancing becomes contagious.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader Lower Grades 3.1 0.5 Quiz: 48699.
Added Author:


Call Number

On Order



Everyone told Dumpy La Rue that pigs don't dance. But Dumpy knew better. He closed his eyes and twirled to the tune inside his head. The whole barnyard gathered around, and soon hooves were stomping, wings were flapping, and feet were stamping out a beat.Elizabeth Winthrop's romping, rhyming story and Betsy Lewin's exuberant illustrations will have readers tapping their toes, jumping for joy, and dancing a jig with this passionate pig.

Author Notes

Author Elizabeth Winthrop grew up in Washington, D. C., and has written over 50 works of fiction for all ages. She has won numerous awards including the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award, the Pen Syndicated Fiction Award, the California Young Readers Medal and the Jane Addams Peace Prize Honor Book. Many of her children's books are based on her childhood memories and the experiences of her children and other children she has talked to. Her book Belinda's Hurricane is based on the time she lived through a hurricane with her grandmother on an island off the coast of Connecticut. I Think He Likes Me is based on her daughter's reaction to her younger brother when he was brought home from the hospital. Her most popular books are The Castle in the Attic and The Battle for the Castle.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2-What fun! Dumpy La Rue is a pig who has lots of rhythm and just wants to dance, much to his family's distress. His parents are reproving and his sister says, "Boys don't dance./They fight, they march,/they sport, and they snort./And they're never ever/supposed to cavort." With wonderfully expressive watercolor illustrations and quick rhyming text, Dumpy not only shares his love of movement with the entire farmyard, but he also has them all kicking up their hooves in the end. "Folks would come from high and low/to see this most amazing show./The Barnyard Ballet/of Dumpy La Rue/The Pig Who Knew/What He Wanted To Do." The musical quality of the text makes it a perfect read-aloud even if all of the vocabulary words (glissade, jetd, pas de bourre) aren't immediately familiar. Through Dumpy's warmth and enthusiasm, children will meet a youngster who marches to the beat of his own drummer, and who encourages others to do so as well.- Genevieve Ceraldi, New York Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

The creators of Promises offer a spry story starring a piglet determined to dance. Though his parents insist that "Pigs don't dance./ They grunt, they grovel,/ they snuffle for truffles," Dumpy La Rue "knew what he wanted to do," and kicks up his hooves in front of an audience of barnyard animals. When the sheep announce that they, too, want to dance, Dumpy offers some advice to his pals: "If you want to dance,/ if you want to glide,/ just close your eyes/ and listen inside." Caldecott Honor artist Lewin (Click, Clack, Moo) portrays the closed-eyed assemblage of critters including Dumpy's family spinning, twirling and gliding along with the prancing porker. Her animated pictures, created with black brush lines and watercolor wash, comically capture the animals' initial skepticism and eventual ebullience as they discover the thrill of dancing to their own internal beats. Though the verse intermittently falters in its rhythm and rhyme, the kid-tickling energy and silliness remain constant (e.g., "The goats did a two-step./ The fox did a three./ The mule danced the salsa/ with a neighboring tree"). And amidst the merriment, readers just may pick up on the importance of bucking stereotypes and listening to one's own drummer or whatever it is that is playing "inside." Ages 4-9. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Horn Book Review

When Dumpy the pig decides that he wants to dance, his family and the other barnyard animals try to discourage him. His enthusiasm wins them over, however, and soon the whole group boogies around the farm. The uneven text, which sometimes rhymes and sometimes doesn't, fails to live up to the promise of Lewin's humorous illustrations, done in black brush line and fluid watercolors. From HORN BOOK Fall 2001, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

A barrel-shaped Baryshnikov soars over his assigned role in life in this breezy toe-tapper from a pair of picture-book veterans. His parents may assert that pigs don’t dance, his sister may sniff, “ ‘Fat chance,’ ” but Dumpy knows what he wants to do—and in no time his jetés and glissades have the other animals juking to their own inner rhythms. To Winthrop’s narrative, which is filled with rhymes but irregular enough of meter to have a jazzy, improvisational feel, Lewin, who just won a Caldecott Honor for Doreen Cronin’s Click, Clack, Moo! Cows That Type (not reviewed), matches similarly splotchy, brush-lined farmyard scenes, these featuring a stylishly posed piglet who is soon joined by sashaying chorus lines of rats, chickens, cattle, and other livestock. (“The goats did a two-step. / The fox did a three. / The mule danced the salsa with a neighboring tree.”) A male Olivia he’s not, but fans of Mary Jane Auch’s barnyard bourreés (Bantam of the Opera, 1997, etc.) will give Dumpy La Rue a standing “O.” (Picture book. 5-7)

Booklist Review

Ages 4^-6. Winthrop's high-spirited text stands up well to Lewin's strong artwork, which will remind children of the pictures in her recent Caldecott Honor Book, Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type [BKL Ap 1 00], by Doreen Cronin. But the barnyard setting is the only thing the books have in common. Piggy Dumpy La Rue wants to dance, but his father reminds him that pigs are born for other things--like rolling in mud, snorting, and, of course, eating. Dumpy's sister is even more blunt: "Fat chance . . .Boys don't dance." But Dumpy takes no notice of detractors, and before long he has the whole barnyard crew--even portly Pops--happily hoofin'. The message will be pretty obvious (even very young children will get it), and Winthrop forces the rhyme at times (fence/ dance). There's still plenty of bounce here, though, in the lively text and the exuberant line-and-watercolor pictures, some of which fairly leap off the pages just like the dancing critters they show. --Stephanie Zvirin