Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Book Review: 'The Midsummer Dance' by Melinda Kinsman

British author Melinda Kinsman both writes and illustrates her popular children's books from her home on a small peninsula called The Wirral, in North West England. Melinda has to lie down a lot each day, due to health issues, she spends most of that time using her iPad to write and illustrate her books. That most assuredly does not deter her from composing excellent books that entertain both children and the lucky adults reading to them!

For those who are new to Melinda's series of books, welcome to The Top of the Wardrobe Gang - a team of cuddly toys who write the stories and ideas in this (and other) books. In this Book 11 we join Molly Mouse and the rest of the Wardrobe Gang who expand their ranks by a trip into the woods for that special night even Shakespeare celebrated – the Midsummer Night. June 25th is the date, according to the posters, and on this night there are rules: no one gets eaten while trying to dance (the adherence to this rule is assured by owls circling above). The brave little mice arrive with food to celebrate, felling safe because of the rules. They square dance and have a good time until one of the hungry weasels observing the possible ‘feast’ gets swooped by a guarding owl. But he dance floor is fine, and new friends arrive – spiders and even a tiny snail who though difficult for predators to eat, hides in the logs to avoid hedgehogs and frogs. The snail has no feet but manages to dance by swaying her smooth shell. The snail’s courage encourages an earthworm to join and they pair off as dance partners – and close friends as well – until the light of the next day is seen through the trees ending the dance – and the treaty not to eat the dancers. But the evening has bonded two friends – and may even love!

Once again Melinda delights us with a beautifully illustrated and lesson holding rhyming story. She even supplies bonuses for the lucky children to whom this book is given. Grady Harp, June 16

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.