Our narrator wakes up to odd noises one night. Getting up and waking her brother, they go to investigate. They go downstairs, following the sounds to the kitchen where they find their mother and father dancing, singing and having a good old time as they clean up for the night. But when our siblings are found out, will they be in trouble or will there be a big surprise for them?
Kitchen Dance by Maurie J. Manning mixes in some Spanish (what the parents sing in or use for terms of endearment). Having a glossary (or pronunciation guide) would have been helpful. I am not sure when the book is set, but Manning’s illustrations have an “old school” feel that our family is in Harlem in the 1950s or early 1960s. Yet, it could be set in Texas, New York or half way around the world. This is due to the theme of family and love is universal. However, one also could bring up the fact the family is Latino and perhaps therefore are immigrants to this country. Or perhaps they still live in their native land. Yet, these are just a few ways to interpret the setting.
In the end, Kitchen Dance is a bed time story. It is a book that shows people that might look different from most of the people reading, but in the end are just like you or me: they love, they have fun, they are a family. Bright colors and sweet text is what makes this book special.