J.R.Poulter has worked as a senior educator, librarian, lecturer in English Expression, editor and in a circus. A multi-awarded author/poet with over 40 books to her name, she also writes poetry, YA and general readership fiction under J.R.McRae.
Reviewed by Bruce Arrington for Readers' Favorite
Hip Hop Hurrah! Zoo Dance by J.R. Poulter is a young children's (3-7 years) illustrated book about animals dancing and otherwise actively moving for fun. They are dressed as people with the intent of engaging young readers to relate to the spirit of movement and encouraging them to act and move in the same ways. I found the book to be fun and appealing. As a music teacher, I think this could help stimulate ideas in the minds of my students, particularly those who are not used to much dancing or movement. Young readers will likely recognize the animals presented and the fun they have in the book, allowing them to mimic those movements and participate. Just make sure you have an open floor space!
While the colored illustrations drew me into the story, the chalk pictures (or partial chalk and partial color ones) on the "chalkboard" broke it up, leaving a rather jarred story line. It basically took my attention away from the progressive story as it was laid out. However, this comes from an adult perspective and children will likely have no problem with it. The words are action-based, and most are easily understood, although those such as "strut" and "shimmie" might be beyond some comprehension levels and would need to be explained. Overall, Hip Hop Hurrah! Zoo Dance by J.R. Poulter is a engaging story that should help young students get out of their seats and onto the dance floor with new moves and grooves.