Summary of the Book "Kitchen Dance"

by Eoghan McCloskey

The children's book "Kitchen Dance" by Mauie J. Manning is a simple story celebrating family, love and affection.

"Kitchen Dance"

"Kitchen Dance" is a children's book written and illustrated by Maurie J. Manning (author of "The Aunts Go Marching"). It was released in hardcover format by Clarion Books on October 6, 2008. The book is 32 pages long and is intended for children ages 4-8 (preschool through grade 2).

Plot Synopsis

A young girl and her brother Tito are sleeping when they begin to hear sounds emanating from the kitchen downstairs. As they creep downstairs to see what's making the noise, they see their mother and father delightfully singing, cooking, dancing and pronouncing their love for one another and for their children. After more dancing and singing, the children grow sleepy again, at which point their parents take them back upstairs to tuck them back into bed.

Critical Review

Publishers Weekly called the book "Manning's most exuberant work yet" due primarily to Manning's illustrations of "rounded, sculptural bodies" that "take on a cinematic sense of motion and space" as they "move about the kitchen with humor and grace." Kirkus Reviews commended the book's depiction of an "Afro-Latino family" that love each other with remarkable "abandon and enthusiasm," while the School Library Journal called the book "a celebration of family" that is "full of vitality, simple, and touching."

Notable Facts

The book makes extensive use of onomatopoeia for its creation of an exuberant, joy- and love-filled celebration. The children first awaken to the sounds of their parents' cleaning the kitchen ("Scrape!" "Splash!" "Clunk!" "Clang!"). There is also a strong theme of multiculturalism throughout the book, as evidenced by the Afro-Latino couple themselves and their frequent references to Latino music and dancing throughout the celebration.