Written By: Betsy Bird
Illustrated By: Brandon Dorman
Explore Illustrations and Text:
Take a moment with your child to peruse the cover and illustrations before you begin your read-through. Let him/her make any initial comments or observations that come to mind and ask questions like these to elicit predictions about the story:
What do you think this story is about?
How do you think Lexy will meet the giants?
Do you think giants like to dance? Do you think they are good? Why or why not?
What kind of music do you think they play at a Giant Dance Party?
Whether your child takes dance classes or just enjoys dancing at home, ask “Have you ever been in/seen a dance recital? What happened? Did you like it? Do you like to dance? What is your favorite dance move? Let’s see what dance moves Lexy and these giants like to do.”
As You Read
This story is full of movement so get active! Don’t be afraid to include some dancing into your storytime. For example, when Lexy teaches Neesha how to twist, demonstrate what the twist looks like for your child and let him/her try it as well. You can also incorporate fun voices for Lexy, her parents and the giants. Use a specific voice when you are narrating, then switch voices depending on who you are speaking as, giving the giants particularly silly voices as you read.
Being afraid and having stage fright are very common feelings and easy emotions for children to empathize with, so help your child relate to Lexy and the giants in the story. When Lexy freezes up on stage, ask “Have you ever had stage fright or been afraid to do something? What happened? Did you get over your stage fright? How do you think Lexy will get rid of her stage fright?”
Summarize and Interpret:
Allow your child to make any concluding comments or observations and ask questions like these to gauge his/her understanding of the story:
What was your favorite part of the story? Why?
Why did Lexy want to quit dancing in the beginning of the story?
How did the giants find Lexy?
What happened when they had their first recital?
How did Lexy get over her stage fright at the end? Do you think she would have gotten over her stage fright if she hadn’t been helping the giants? Why or why not?
Activity: Host a Dance Recital for Your Family and Stuffed Animals
Supplies: Costume, music, and a stuffed animal audience. Optional: poster board or paper and markers to create a sign for your production
Gather all of your family members as well as your child’s dolls and stuffed animals to enjoy a fabulous dance recital put on by your little one! S/he will have a blast getting into costume and dancing without the pressure of a real audience.
- If you’d like, create a poster advertising your dance recital that can be hung outside of the room that it will be taking place in. Help your child write “______’s Dance Recital! All Welcome!” and let him/her decorate it however s/he pleases. Be sure to include a time as well.
- Now it’s time to get into costume! Whether it’s a super silly and wacky costume or a real ballerina getup, be sure that your child looks the part.
- Help your child choose the music that s/he will dance to. It is good to get a variety of songs from different genres to keep things interesting.
- Gather your audience of family members and stuffed animals and toys and set them up so that they have front row seats to the show. Now it’s your job to act as the MC and introduce your child to his/her adoring audience. Turn on the music and let the show begin.
What starts out as a recital can turn into a dance lesson! Get in on the action and let your little one show you a dance move or two, and you can do the same in return. This is a great way to have fun while also being active!
Check This Out
Looking for some inspiration for your own dance party? Watch this silly video where Betsy Bird, author of Giant Dance Party, demonstrates the rules for having a great Giant Dance Party.