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Caldecott Monday returns in a blaze of glory! Well, I suppose "blaze" might be a bit of an overstatement, but I do like Karen Ackerman's Song and Dance Man very much - we had it when I was a child (I am in fact reading it out of my childhood copy) and I always liked the vibrant motion of the pictures where grandfather shows off his old vaudeville routines to his grandchildren.

It occurs to me that this book, in conjunction with the later books in the All of a Kind Family sequence, are probably responsible for my vague yet firmly held belief that vaudeville was Super Cool. Was it really? WHO KNOWS. The movies killed it and we shall ne'er see its like again.

Song and Dance Man is probably also responsible for that sense of nostalgia: it ends with Grandpa gazing up the stairs toward the attic where his tap shoes and his natty striped vests and his bowler hat all repose in an old theater trunk, not unhappy - he is after all surrounded by his beloved grandchildren - but wistful, perhaps, that it's not possible to slip back in time just for one night, and dance on the vaudeville stage just one more time.

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