Jingle Dancer

by Cynthia Leitich Smith, Ying-Hwa Hu, and Cornelius Van Wright

Jenna wants to jingle dance at the next powwow, but she doesn’t have any jingles... read more

Jenna wants to jingle dance at the next powwow, but she doesn’t have any jingles for her dress. Resourceful and determined, Jenna visits her great-aunt, an older cousin, and a family friend. She asks each woman if she can borrow a row of jingles. Each provides Jenna with a row, and a request, “Will you dance for me?” For the fourth and final row she needs, Jenna asks her Grandma Wolfe, whose dancing inspired Jenna to begin with. There are lyrical turns of phrase in this picture book about a contemporary Mucogee/Ojibway child who achieves her dream with love and support from her elders. Jenna, her family, and friends all embrace cultural traditions while living contemporary lives, as the full-page watercolor illustrations emphasize. An author’s note provides additional facts about Jenna’s heritage and jingle dancing. (Ages 5-8)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2001

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