Clap on the 2 and 4

Schiffer Kids. Sept. 2021. 14p. Board $7.99. ISBN 9780764362422.
Toddler-PreS–Callahan, aka the Great Amundo, has a message to send to all young music lovers: “Clap on the 2 and 4!” In this simple board book, Callahan takes readers through each beat of a four-count in a measure, instructing them to first clap on each individual beat, and then in combinations. Finally, at the end of the rhyming text he reveals that the “correct” way to clap on the dance floor is on the “2” and “4.” Callahan feels so strongly about this message that along with a blurb on the back of the book, he has an entire website dedicated to the cause, featuring practice videos and more. While music aficionado parents may either love or hate this message (what about non-Western beats?), when it comes down to it, this is a fun board book that teaches the basics of rhythm and beats and which will get children clapping and dancing. Camille’s stick figure illustrations on brightly colored pages with bold simple lettering bring to mind both Todd Parr and Keith Haring. The last two pages instruct the reader to “now dance” amid raucous dancing stick figures on a red background.
VERDICT While not everyone will buy into the passion the author has for this particular music lesson, children will certainly enjoy clapping and counting along in story hours or in classrooms needing a “shake the sillies out” session.

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