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Hop Jump

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Walsh ( Mouse Paint ) is at her sprightly best with this tale of Betsy, who's bored by hopping and jumping like all the other frogs. Looking for another way to express herself, Betsy tries imitating falling leaves and soon discovers dancing. The others ostracize her (``No room for dancing,'' they tell her), but Betsy, refusing to be squelched, goes off on her own. Soon the others grow curious and come to watch, and in the end, of course, can't resist the urge to join in. All except one, that is. ``Hey, no room for hopping,'' the other frogs tell the new rebel, but once again Betsy steps in and puts a stop to their discrimination. The text is both musical and minimal, leaving great clean expanses of white space for Walsh to punctuate with a flurry of fetching, fleet-footed frogs fashioned from paint-speckled cut paper. Wide-eyed and wiggling, rendered in a fresh, focused palette and invitingly designed, these hip hopsters are a joy to behold. Ages 3-8. (Oct.)

PreS-Gr 2-"`It's always the same,'" complains Betsy, a green-speckled blue frog. She is tired of watching the others of her ilk engaging in their monotonous, ``Hop jump, hop jump.'' Instead, she imitates leaves-leaping, turning, and twisting-as they float to the ground. "`It's called dancing,'" she says. The frogs at first reject the idea, and then all but one join her. Betsy declares, "`There's room for dancing and for hopping.'" This gentle lesson in diversity and tolerance is presented in direct, graceful prose. Although there are just a few words per page, the text flows smoothly and is perfectly coordinated with the cut-paper collage illustrations. The ever-changing positions and relationships of the frogs, speckled with yellow, green, and blue, hold readers' interest. The large, clearly seen figures and flowing language will make this book a popular and useful story time choice.-Nancy Seiner, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

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