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Rap A Tap Tap

3.91  ·  Rating Details  ·  396 Ratings  ·  87 Reviews
With bold paintings and a simple, rhyming text, Caldecott Medalists Leo & Diane Dillon bring young readers a rap a tap tap celebration of dance that will have readers clapping and tapping along.

"There once was a man who danced in the street / He brought pleasure and joy to the people he'd greet / He didn't just dance, he made art with his feet / Rap a tap tap--think of
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 1st 2002 by Blue Sky Press (first published April 1st 2002)
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The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack KeatsMufaro's Beautiful Daughters by John SteptoeNothando's Journey by Jill ManlyWhistle for Willie by Ezra Jack KeatsThe Rough-Face Girl by Rafe Martin
Multicultural Children's Lit
51st out of 360 books — 73 voters
Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara JoosseHush! A Thai Lullaby by Minfong HoDo I Look Odd To You by Rebecca McDonaldPhoenix Song by Tutu DuttaRap A Tap Tap by Leo Dillon
Multicultural Children's Books
5th out of 132 books — 34 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 684)
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June Pecchia
Movement is felt with joy in each illustration of dancing legend Bojangles. The story is tapped out simply and vibrantly. Read this book for fun, history, and celebration of dance. This is Leo and Diane Dillon at their best, when they create text and art to fit together.

I did a library search online for books by Leo and Diane Dillon, because their art is so captivating, and I'd read that Leo Dillon died not too long ago. It's sad to know of his passing, and that there will never be another new c
A man tap-dances his way through the streets, passing open and closed doors, through fancy neighborhoods and “the skids.” The man is Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, one of the most famous tap dancers of all time. All different kinds of people love to watch Bojangles dance. His flying feet made him famous.

The illustrations add a layer of symbolism to the infectious rhythm of the text. When Bojangles is dancing in the streets, passersby are African American; when he becomes famous, the audience is prim
Brittany White
This short story book takes us on a wonderful journey along with Bill 'Bojangles' Robinson, who is known to be the greatest tap dancer of all time. The authors describe Bojangles as a fun, fearless person who brings joy to the lives of those who he comes in contact with. This is a great story to share with students anytime of the year. It will help them understand how people can have a special talent and use it to make everyone happy. This book provides a text to world connection, and allows the ...more
Jan 31, 2015 Cassandra rated it really liked it
Really perfect for a special Black History Month storytime!
Caitlin Lawler
Rap a Tap Tap: Here's Bojangles - Think of That! by Coretta Scott King is rhythmic story of the famous tap dancer Bojangles Robinson who loved to tap around all day. He always brought joy to large crowds and people loved to see him dance. He would tap all across town for many different people and he eventually became very famous for his tap dancing. The story takes place around the 1920's and 1930's.

This story had no climax or problem in it. The entire story spoke only positively of the famous d
Dec 15, 2014 Erin rated it really liked it
We first read this when our son was 2, and he enjoyed the rhythmic text and the clear pictures. Now that he's 3 we've revisited it, and he just adores the text (he's big into tap dancing). As a parent I love the story it tells, and that it teaches appreciation of dance. This has been a lasting favorite for all of us.
Jul 02, 2012 Masumi rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-books
This was one of my first multicultural books I had in the classroom. It was a wonderful addition to our library. I even showed the children some videoclips of Bill Robinson tap dancing. We made our own tap shoes in class using our shoes and quarters taped to the front bottom. It was fun tapping all around the room!
Jul 15, 2015 Tiffany rated it it was amazing
By merit of a year-old brother I read a great deal of books for wee-sma folk, but I don't often add them to my count -- usually I consider it cheating. The reading challenge wouldn't be a challenge if I went around adding things like, "That's Not My Pirate". But every once in awhile I come across a book for the very young that just astounds me with the beauty of its art, and I'm lost from there. A book that is a visual feast is something I cannot resist. Add to that the simple, straightforward ...more
Anna Frame
Feb 23, 2015 Anna Frame rated it really liked it
Personal Reaction- I loved this book because it brought a lot of interesting aspects to the table. Its about an African American in the mid 1900s who went from having very little to making it on stage. This book would be enjoyable for young children because of its story and also interesting illustrations.

Read aloud to 2nd and 3rd graders
-enrichment and enjoyment because of the story itself. It has great history in it but also a realistic plot
-the main character went from having nothing
Travis Kesinger
Feb 26, 2015 Travis Kesinger rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book due to the cultural perspective that it offers readers. It offers a great representation of the 'American Dream' during this period of time. It also represents an oppressed group and how they made it in the performing world. This could start a great discussion about race inequality in the 1900's, the American Dream, and how that is portrayed in this book.

Read aloud to 3rd graders. I feel like it could work for 2nd graders as a read aloud but the discussion wo
Mar 28, 2012 Magda rated it it was ok
The illustrations were lovely, the rhythm was fun, but I think this book needs something more, somehow. (Teddy liked it.)
Emily McCracken
Feb 11, 2015 Emily McCracken rated it it was amazing
Rap a Tap Tap by Leo Dillon is the story about an African American tap dancer, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. Bojangles was one of the most popular entertainers in the 1920s and 1930s. People said that he "talked with his feet". Everyone enjoyed Bojangles tapping entertainment, and this story does a great job of portraying how much people really enjoyed Bojangles.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is rhythmic throughout just as if you were listening to a tap dance.
The images in the book are very vi
Victoria Moore
"Rap A Tap Tap Here's Bojangles-Think Of That!" by Leo and Diane Dillon isn't just one of my favorite children's books it's also one of my favorite tap books! The sound words "Rap A Tap Tap" actually sound like tap dancing and the way the illustrations move with Bojangles's feet and body are also accurate. He really looks like he could fly off the page! At the end of the book, the authors wrote about Bojangles in "The Afterword" too which illuminates his mystique more clearly for anyone reading ...more
Mar 16, 2009 Tawnie rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This book follows the adventures of Bojangles as he dances his way through the city. He dances past a wide variety of people in a busy city, some who welcome him while others ignore him. But despite this, he continues to dance his way through the city, past the old, young, the poor and the rich. Each two page spread features those that Bojangles’ is dancing to on the left and his dancing on the right and underneath it all the simple rhyming text ends each spread with the repetition of “rap a tap ...more
Amy Forrester
Jun 03, 2012 Amy Forrester rated it it was amazing
Moving his feet with furious speed and impeccable rhythm, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson taps his way through this colorful book. He dances for everyone, from the fancy folks in top hat and tails to the down and out people living in the skids. He dances his way to fame on the stage, “Bojangles, Bojangles, that was his name. Rap a tap tap – think of that!”

Winner of the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustrators, this book is a wonderful introduction to a legendary entertainer. Bill“Bojangles” Robinson
Chantia Singleton
This would be a great addition to your music center. The children could gather instruments after reading it and recreate the tunes in the book. They could figure out all the ways that you could make the sounds 'rap a tap tap." You can do it with your toes, hands, pencils and more! You could also have the children dance like man in the book. It wouldn't hurt to introduce them to who Bojangles was as a social studies lesson either.:)
I was looking for a book for my Toddler Storytime on dance when I came across this gem from Leo & Diane Dillon. It's a book about Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, one of the world's most famous tap dancers and has a rhyming repeating text. I had heard of him before this book, but this was the first time I'd seen a children's book based on the his life and dancing skills. Recommended for ages 2-7, 3 stars.
May 05, 2009 Katrina rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Dance Storytime or Lesson on Jazz
Each two page spread features those that Bojangles’ is dancing to on the left and his dancing on the right and underneath it all the simple rhyming text ends each spread with the repetition of “rap a tap tap - think of that!” The book includes a brief afterward explaining who Bojangles was and the influence that he had on tap dancing.

The simple gouache paintings almost look like cutouts on a white background as there is almost no variation in the blocks of color. The color choices reflect in the
Jul 09, 2014 Kimberly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are sadly not enough great nonfiction books that work for Story Times aimed at age 6 and younger. This one is a gem! The kids loved repeating the "rap a tap tap" and tapping their feet along to the story. I even got some yays and clapping at the point in the story when Bojangles becomes famous.
Jan 11, 2015 Karen rated it really liked it
I loved this book -- what there was to it -- but I do wish it had told a bit more of a story. Still, what was there was perfect.

I loved the illustrations most of all. They were perfect. They reminded me a bit of pared-down Jacob Lawrence paintings.

A picture book celebration of the rhythms Bill "Bojangles" Robinson created with his feet and his tap shoes. Nice refrain (Rap a tap tap--think of that) and excellent artwork that shows the impressive dance steps in shadow-like extensions.

GREAT read aloud, PreK-2+.
Feb 04, 2015 Felicia rated it really liked it
Shelves: child-lit
This book has several great aspects. It is an easy picture book about an African American man named Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. This book is also an easy interactive book where you could teach the children a rhythmic pat pattern to do during a certain time.
Audrey Rozman
This simple book for young children has the added bonus of describing the life of a ground-breaking African-American tap dancer. Bill "Bojangles" Robinson was one of the most popular entertainers of the 1920s-30s.
Carson Marie
Bill "Bojangles" Robinson was the highest paid black entertainer during the Great Depression. This fun rhythmic book has a fantastic reading rhythm and repetition for beginning learners to enjoy.
Ms Threlkeld
Nov 04, 2014 Ms Threlkeld rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Simply written with a repeated line that sounds almost like music, young kids will enjoy the movement in the illustrations and want to join in when you read "Rap a tap tap - think of that!"
Oct 12, 2013 Colleen rated it it was amazing
Rap a Tap Tap is a Coretta Scott King award winner. The story of the legendary dancer Mr. Bojangles is presented using simple but rythmic vocabulary and imaginative illustrations. The book is geared for a P audience. Leo and Diane Dillon, use a gouache painting technique that pays homage to Harlem Renaissance. The book is also accompanied by a CD that plays music from the 1930's. The book concludes with a short biography about Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. This is a wonderful book that could be use ...more
Dani Paiz
May 13, 2014 Dani Paiz rated it really liked it
A very cute rhyming book that's very rhythmic. The end has a little paragraph about the real tap dancer Bojangles. It's good for phonological awareness.
May 07, 2012 Renee rated it really liked it
Summary: In illustrations and rhyme describes the dancing of Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, one of the most famous tap dancers of all time.

Book has a nice rhythm and repetitive phrase "Rap a tap tap - think of that!"

Book can be read aloud with shakers, kids keeping the beat as the book is read and joining in with the repetitive phrase.

Also works well with the whole book approach - interpreting the illustrations. Also questioning why the illustrator draws multiple legs - to show movement while danc
Stephanie Watson
This book follows the adventures of Bojangles as he dances his way through the city. He dances past a wide variety of people in a busy city, some who welcome him while others ignore him. But despite this, he continues to dance his way through the city, past the old, young, the poor and the rich. Each two page spread features those that Bojangles’ is dancing to on the left and his dancing on the right and underneath it all the simple rhyming text ends each spread with the repetition of “rap a tap ...more
Kendra Orr
This book teaches younger children (grades preschool-first) the wonders of dance and music while integrating race through the character depiction of Bojangles.
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