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My Mama Had A Dancing Heart

Written by Libba Moore Gray & illustrated by Raúl Colón
Published by Scholastic
5.17 / 7.0
- Bookroo Rating
Goodreads Rating - 4.2 / 5.0
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Retail Price
used $15.95
Sep 1, 1995
Publication Date
Target Age

What Does Bookroo Think of This Book

“Tenderness abounds as a daughter reflects on the love her mother shared dancing together through the seasons.”

“My mama had a dancing heart / and she shared that heart with me,” a young girl explains as she and her mom sit together on the front porch. Then the two glide across the front yard as her mom exclaims, “it feels like a tip-tapping / song-singing / finger-snapping / kind of day.” Together they share fun dancing moments as the seasons pass—“high stepping” in the rain of spring, “squish-squashing” in the sandy beach of summer, and “leg-lifting” among the falling leaves of autumn. In the final pages, the young girl has grown to a young woman who ties on her ballet slippers and performs on stage, reflecting afterward in a solitary moment backstage that she hears her mom approvingly repeating her opening refrain, “Let’s celebrate!” Gray’s text is flourishing and poetic. Her notable use of past tense gives a nostalgic, longing feel to the story, while her verb constructions are original and delightful: “I’d slip-swish behind,” and “we’d seashell-pile the windowsill.” Colón’s water color washed illustrations are moving, made surprisingly rich and deep with colored pencils and litho pencils, allowing for beautiful lighting and shadow that add to the nostalgic feel of this recollection of a mother’s vibrant love for life and dance.

What's This Book About

Publisher Summary

A ballet dancer recalls how she and her mother would welcome each season with a dance outdoors

What Kind of Book is My Mama Had A Dancing Heart

Trusted Reviews & Ratings

The Goodfather
Favorite pastime? Reading with my kids. Just finished Nana Cracks the Case!
5.0 / 7.0

Nostalgic, tender illustrations with a poetic celebration of a mother-daughter relationship.

The Book Snob Mom
Mom of boys. Lover of Harry Potter, Jane Austen and believes one can never own too many children's books!
5.25 / 7.0
Mom of Boys
Mom of three little boys who love books about dragons, whangdoodles and magic.
5.25 / 7.0

Book Lists That Include My Mama Had A Dancing Heart

Book Topics › science and nature
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Who Wrote My Mama Had A Dancing Heart

Who Illustrated My Mama Had A Dancing Heart

Raúl Colón

Raúl Colón has illustrated several highly acclaimed picture books, including Draw!; the New York Times bestselling Angela and the Baby Jesus by Frank McCourt; Susanna Reich’s José! Born to Dance; and Jill Biden’s Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops. Mr. Colón lived in Puerto Rico as a young boy and now resides in New City, New York, with his family.

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What Has Raúl Colón Said About This Book

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What Has Libba Moore Gray Said About This Book

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Did This Book Win Any Awards

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Raúl Colón
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Book Details

Publication Date:
September 1, 1995
Library of Congress Number (LCCN):
WorldCat Number (OCLC):

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