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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Rupert Can Dance, written and illustrated by Jules Feiffer. Farrar Straus Giroux, Macmillan. Raincoast, 2014. $19.95 ages 3 and up

"No more than a minute or two after Mandy was asleep Rupert tiptoed over to her closet and slipped on her dancing shoes. Now it was Rupert's turn to dance. As Mandy slept the night away Rupert danced the night away.

You can not believe how good he was. Not just a good dancer, but also a quiet dancer."

Mandy happily shares her love of dance with her cat, Rupert. She dances, he watches. It is not until she finally goes to sleep that Rupert fancies a dance or two of his own, using Mandy's dance shoes. He is extremely reluctant to share his secret.

As so often happens with secrets, he is discovered. Hurriedly, he finds a hiding place under the bed in hopes of avoiding Mandy's wide-eyed glee. He is not pleased with this new state of affairs. Of course, he is also wanting desperately to avoid her determination to teach him more than he wants to know. This free-spirited cat wants to dance on his own terms, without interference.

Mandy has taken to heart some of her parents' prowess at convincing her to do what she has steadfastly resisted. She tries that same psychology on Rupert, with surprising results. You might just giggle to see the ending. Might they be the next Ginger and Fred?

I have long been an admirer of Jules Feiffer's work. His bold, fluid lines and bright colors are sure to make you and your listeners want to join Mandy and Rupert in their joyous leaps and shared love of the dance. Such will love them!

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