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Rap A Tap Tap
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Rap A Tap Tap

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  257 ratings  ·  68 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...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 1st 2002 by Blue Sky Press (first published April 1st 2002)
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Multicultural Children's Lit
21st out of 305 books — 42 voters
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3rd out of 110 books — 21 voters


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Community Reviews

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Erin
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.
Tatiana
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...more
Brittany Brewer
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
Masumi
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!
Magda
The illustrations were lovely, the rhythm was fun, but I think this book needs something more, somehow. (Teddy liked it.)
Tawnie
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 Musser
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...more
Katrina
May 05, 2009 Katrina rated it 4 of 5 stars
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...more
Kimberly
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.
Samantha
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+.
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.
Colleen
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
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.
Renee
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...more
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
Amber Fuhrman
This book would be fun for students. It teaches them about African history, but at the same time it is entertaining.
L-Angelica Herrera-Vest
Rap A Tap Tap is a picture book about a young man who loved to tap dance. "Rap a tap tap---think of that" is repeated throughout the book. You can almost hear the dancer tapping on the floor with his tap shoes. The story is about Bill "Bojangles" Robinson (1978-1949) a famous tap dancer who during the Depression of the 1930's was the highest paid black entertainer. He starred in Broadway and on May 25, 1989, Congress declared that day as National Tap Dance Day in honor of Bill Robinson's birthd...more
Joshua
A fun book with excellent art showing the motion of Bill "Bojangles" Robinson and New York City.
Sarah Ragan
awesome story! I loved the use of shape in this book!
Britta
This book has an amazing danceable musicality to it! Fantastic rhythm in each line, and the simple, bold illustrations capture the tap dance movements perfectly. Beautiful!
Melanie Johnson
"Bojangles, Bojanges that was his name. Rap a tap tap -think of that!" This book of historical fiction was interesting to read and just had to buy it. It teaches kids about a guy who name was Bill "Bojangles" Robinson who was the greatest tap dancer during the Great Depression. As you read the book you will come across the words of the on every other page which I love because you can the kids to join in while you read. The picture helps you to understand the words to the story. For instance if...more
Mills College Library
Picture D5794r 2002
Lisa Overberg
Bill "Bojangles" Robinson was one of the most famous and highest paid African Americans during the Great Depression. He performed his tap dancing all over the country and danced with many famous people. This book is so fun, and has a lot or repeats for students to say with you. It would be a great read aloud book for emergent readers.




Interest Level: K-2
Grade Level Equivalent: 2.1
Lexile Measure: 300
DRA: Not Available
Guided Reading: F
Amy
This was a fun book for children to read and learn about "Bojangles," the most famous tap dancer of all time, and what he did in his career of tap dancing. It also repeats the line "Rap a tap tap - think of that!" which is a great line to introduce repetition. This is a colorful book as well, with great illustrations and a good book to use when talking about biographies of people. It also tells a cool story that I think kids will love.
Leila T.
I loved learning about Bojangles! This name of legend, about whom I knew nothing! M liked reading it a few times, too, even murmuring the rap-a-tap-tap refrain to herself for several days afterwards. The illustrations are bold and graphic-y, but as a read-out-loud book I found it hard to find the cadence and rhythm of the text. Which was weird for a book about one of the best dancers of all modern time.
Takla
It is a beautiful book with vivid paintings and a simple rhyming text. The illustrations are bright, clever, and elegant. The children will feel the energy and the passion of the dancer with each page turn. You can almost watch the tap dancer dance off the pages. If is a beautiful and captivating story.
Brittany Long
Cute picture book that will have you rap a tap tapping the whole way through. This would be a great book to use to implement a new music unit. In it you could focus on that style of dance by bringing in more books or even a short video clip for the children to watch and try to imitate or you can focus on the type of music popular in that era highlighting important instruments and how they sound.
Kai Palmer
Dancing is always looked at as being upbeat and people dance as expression of self. Bojangles danced whether people liked it or not, so this will teach children that no matter what you do and whether people like it or not, keep on moving! I also saw a reader used quarters and taped them to the front of the children's shoes for tap dancing. I love that idea for music and movement.
Amber Basinger
I love that this historical fiction book tells the story of the famous dancer, Bojangles, in a way that is easy for young students to understand. Students will enjoy singing "rap a tap tap" as they follow Bojangles through his journey. The bibliography of Bill Robinson helps students show real evidence the famous dancer and his influence on tap dancing.
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