Bottle Cap Boys Dancing on Royal Street

illus. by Damian Ward. 32p. Marimba Books. Oct. 2015. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781603490306.
Gr 2–4—Two African American brothers battle it out in a friendly tap-dancing contest on the sidewalks of New Orleans by attaching bottle caps to the bottoms of their shoes. Williams-Garcia's fluid rhyming text, which includes the staccato onomatopoeia sounds the shoes make ("Clickety-clack-clack, Clickety-clack-clack"), makes this an enjoyable read-aloud or individual read. The boys put down boxes for tips, one for each of them, and begin not only dancing but singing as well. Throughout the performance, it seems as if the brothers are competing, but the last line sums it up happily: "'I'm a bottle cap king! And so is my brother.'" The fun, cartoonlike illustrations present the scenes from a variety of perspectives. Teachers will want to use this book for units on onomatopoeia, tap dancing, New Orleans, or just for plain fun. An author's note at the end provides definitions of culturally significant words like beignet and jambalaya.
VERDICT This is an enjoyable romp through the streets of New Orleans with a fun narrative and lively illustrations. A good choice for most picture book collections.

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