|Electric slide and Kai|
Author: Baptist, Kelly J.
Everyone in the Donovan family can dance--and has a dance nickname--except Kai, but his family helps him practice his moves to prepare for his aunt's wedding reception.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 3.20
Points: .5 Quiz: 512417
Kirkus Reviews (+) (02/01/21)
School Library Journal (04/01/21)
The Hornbook (00/05/21)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 12/15/2020 In the Donovan family, everyone has a dance nickname for their special moves except Kai, who can’t do the Electric Slide without knocking someone over. No matter how much his parents try to comfort him by saying that he has his own special rhythm, Kai is worried he’ll mess things up on the dance floor at an upcoming family wedding. But, determined, he takes lessons from his siblings and dad, practices for weeks, and watches video after video. Will he finally impress his grandpa and get the dance nickname he so desperately wants? This is a simple, sweet story about a small boy’s journey to feeling accepted and special in a large family with even larger personalities. In this Lee & Low New Voices Award Honor book, both the story and the digitally rendered illustrations celebrate the Black experience and feature a family of color as they blissfully tear up the dance floor, and the ending—while satisfyingly predictable—has an unexpected moment where Kai is encouraged by his kind new uncle to achieve his goal. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 04/01/2021 K-Gr 2—In the Donovan family, everyone has a dance nickname bestowed by Granddad except for Kai. After embarrassing himself during the electric slide at a family reunion, Kai decides he can't dance. When Kai's aunt Nina invites the family to her wedding, Kai becomes determined to learn the moves and earn approval (and the coveted nickname) from his grandfather. He approaches each family member, even his little sister Ava, known as "Baby Bounce," for advice and practices for the whole month before the wedding. Despite his preparations, Kai gets nervous at the reception and sneaks off the dance floor. With some encouragement from Mr. Troy, now his new uncle who's also eager for a nickname, Kai finally shows off his moves and becomes "Lil' Slide." Johnson's digital illustrations show this loving Black family in scenes that have a dynamic cartoon quality, well suited to conveying the fun dance moves (and Kai's blunders) as well as the child's many emotions throughout the story. VERDICT An uplifting story with just the right mix of humor, family love, and an unobtrusive lesson in persistence, plus a glowing look at the hubbub around a wedding, this is a recommended purchase.—Yelena Voysey, formerly at Pickering Educational Lib., Boston Univ. - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.