Lessons of the dance
Bon Odori Dancer
Author: Karen Kawamoto McCoy, with illustrations by Carolina Yao
Publisher: Polychrome Publishing; $14.95
In a new picture book by Karen Kawamoto McCoy, Keiko is the clumsiest girl in a dance class preparing her to participate in the summer's Obon festivals.
"Left, right, swirl! Click, clack with the kachi-kachi sticks," then THUD! Keiko crashes to the floor, with the Obon just two weeks away.
"Bon Odori Dancer," geared toward children ages 4 through 9, arrives just in time for the start of the Obon season, running now through late August.
In the book, Keiko and her fellow dancers learn more than dancing. They also learn about the rewards of teamwork and persevering for the sake of others rather than one's ego.
The bon dance reflects the Buddhist principle of universal harmony, with all souls moving in step.
McCoy, a lecturer on Asian American culture, grew up in Idaho and now lives in Ohio. Illustrator Carolina Yao was born in Madrid, Spain, and now lives in Los Angeles.
One reward in the back of the book is the illustration showing the 12 steps of the popular Tanko Bushi or Coal Miner's Dance. Brush up before you head out to the bon dances listed at right.
The books may be ordered through Borders Books or other favorite book stores. Or go online at Amazon.com. Books may also be ordered from the publisher for $14.95 plus $2.50 for shipping and handling. Write: Polychrome Publishing Corp., 4509 N. Francisco, Chicago, Ill. 60625-3808, or call 1-(773)-478-4455. The company also has a web site, at http://home.earthlink.net/~polypub/
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