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Jingle Dancer

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  265 ratings  ·  95 reviews
Tink, tink, tink, tink, sang cone-shaped jingles sewn to Grandma Wolfe's dress.

Jenna's heart beats to the brum, brum, brum, brum of the powwow drum as she daydreams about the clinking song of her grandma's jingle dancing.

Jenna loves the tradition of jingle dancing that has been shared by generations of women in her family, and she hopes to dance at the next powwow. But she
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 5th 2000 by HarperCollins
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(showing 1-30 of 498)
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This book meant so much to me when I read it. Page after page resonated with who I am as a Native woman that dances (for us, dance is a form of prayer. It isn't entertainment or performance.) As a mother, it reminded me of the first time my daughter, Liz, danced for the first time. She was just barely three years old. Getting her ready was much as described by Smith in JINGLE DANCER. The family involvement is central. The family-in-present-day setting is crucial. Non-Native readers (I include bo ...more
Opinion: I really liked this story. It is a short, sweet story about a young girl who wants to dance at the powwow. The story does a wonderful job incorporating important details of the importance of the steps, the jingles, and the sense of family. The figurative language was beautiful. “As Moon kissed Sun good night” and that the dresses needed “to keep their voice”. The story itself was simple, but showed so many positive aspects. The women in the story were portrayed as strong, educated, and ...more
Lisa Vegan
Feb 17, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa by: Abigail A.
Oh, I just loved these watercolor illustrations, from the vibrant and joyful cover illustration on. Jenna just jumps off the page. I love her expressions, especially when she’s dancing on the cover illustration and when she’s daydreaming, and when she’s interacting with her older female relatives. The only illustrations that seemed slightly lackluster were of Jenna dancing at the end; they don’t match that cover illustration. Jenna just shines in this story.

I enjoyed this story of a young Musco
Jamie Forrest
I am always searching for good literature that supports our curriculum mandate to incorporate First Nations teachings. This book is an amazing book. The story is great on so many levels. It teaches about Powwows and the Jingle Dress dance. It alludes to some traditional games and stories that can be researched further. The illustrations are beautiful. The language used is just stunning. The story is touching too. I just really loved this book.
Ryan Dreier
Illustrations by Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu

This book was about a Native American girl who needs to borrow jingles to attached to her dress so that she may dance in the pow-wow. Great illustrations depictions of Native Americans of today (you won't find any tepees, long house, or wigwams here) were great characters don't don animal hides or head dresses, traditional clothing is illustrated at the pow wow which Smith informs the reader that is a time of cultural celebration.

Very Good
Alyssa Becker
Jingle Dancer; written by Cynthia Leitich Smith, illustrated by: Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu; Copyright 2000, 30 pg.
*Contemporary Realistic Fiction #1*

The young girl in this story, Jenna, is of the Muscogee Nation and of Ojibway descent. In her intertribal community, powwows are a tradition to be held. The members of the community put on traditional dresses with jungle on them and dance beautifully for all to see. When Jenna watches this, she wants to dance too. However, she does not ha
Gail Barge
I have heard about this book before and am so impressed by the power of the simple story. The tight-knit family is so important in this story and could be a good place to discuss the tribal bonds of Native American families. The sounds present in the story would be fun for read-aloud, we well as the images of the dancing women. The history and heritage present in this book lends itself perfectly to a truthful and honest study of Native American culture and tribes.
Brittany Dalziel
Personal Reaction: I thought this book was entertaining and a nice story about how a young girl, with the help of four people who she is close to, is able to dance at the powwow. My favorite part of the book was how the author put a page at the end, explaining certain terms used in the book and describing the culture and traditions of the Muskogee nation, which the character in the story is a part of. The illustrations of the book were pretty and colorful and made the book enjoying. I also liked ...more
Jenna wants to jingle dance at the next Powwow. But She doesn't have enough jingles for her dress, and there is no time to order any. Where will she find the jingles in time for the Powwow.

This is quite a wonderful story. Beautiful and heartwarming, full of tradition and heritage. I know this was the author's first book and she did a truly amazing job.

I think this is a great job for children who are Native and non-Native. It will expose non-Native children to some American Indian traditions and
Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids
This is such a wonderful book for young readers. It follows young Jenna, who wants to be a Jingle Dancer, like her Grandmother Wolfe. In search of Jingles for her dress Jenna visits her Grandmother, her Great Aunt Sis, her friend Mrs. Scott and her cousin Elizabeth, all are Jingle dancers, but for various reasons won't be able to dance in the upcoming Pow Pow. Jenna is asked to dance for them and giving some of their Jingles. In order for Jenna to dance, she must attach the jingles to her dress, ...more
Published: 2000, HarperCollins
Age: 4-10
Jenna is a modern Native American girl who sees her grandmother on a video performing a “Jingle Dance.” She wants to jingle dance too, and practices the dance. She wants to perform it at an upcoming powwow but she doesn’t have the four rows of tin jingles needed to sew onto a skirt. So, she visits a great aunt and asks to borrow a row of jingles. She only asks to borrow one row so her skirt won’t lose its voice. Then she visits a neighbor who is making Indi
CH13_Rachel Arens
Jingle Dancer tells the story of Jenna, a modern Native American girl whose dream is to jingle dance in the powwow like her Grandma Wolfe. Even though Jenna practices often, there is not enough time to order the four rows of jingles to make the dress "sing." But, when Jenna visits some of the older women in her family, they give her some of their jingles and ask her to dance for them at the powwow. In the end, Jenna is able to make her dress using these jingles and dance in the powwow.

I loved s
Genre: PB10

This was a good story about not giving up when you want something. I liked the illustrations the most. They really helped capture all the parts of the story and bring it into focus more for the readers. I had never read a story about a Powwow and hearing Jenna describe the work she puts into her dance as well as the time it takes to get a costume together was great to read. This book would make a great introduction into a lesson on other cultures for almost any school age group. I thi
In this book we meet Jenna who is a member of the Muscogee Nation. We also meet her grandma, aunt and other members of her family and community. Jenna wants to be just like her grandmother, she wants to dance at the pow-wow, but she doesn't have a jingle dress - a traditional attire. Jenna seeks help in her family and the community. Soon she collects enough jingles to make a dress of her own. This book teaches us little about the Muscogee Nation, but it shows us how our families come together to ...more
Katieb (MundieMoms)
This is such a wonderful book for young readers. It follows young Jenna, who wants to be a Jingle Dancer, like her Grandmother Wolfe. In search of Jingles for her dress Jenna visits her Grandmother, her Great Aunt Sis, her friend Mrs. Scott and her cousin Elizabeth, all are Jingle dancers, but for various reasons won't be able to dance in the upcoming Pow Pow. Jenna is asked to dance for them and giving some of their Jingles. In order for Jenna to dance, she must attach the jingles to her dress, ...more
Laura Rumohr
This multicultural picture book, intended for primary students, tells of a young girl named Jenna who dreams of dancing in a powwow just like her Grandma. One morning she sits at the breakfast table and daydreams. In her mind she hears tink, tink, tink for the jingles and tin that shake with each dance step her Grandma would do. Jenna tells her Grandma her dream of doing the jingle dance too, but unfortunately they don't have enough time to order jingles for Jenna for the upcoming powwow
Karin Gallian
This book is written from the voice of a Native American child who wants to dance traditional dances just like her family. The story uses onomatopoeia to bring to life the sound of the drums and the jingling sound the dress makes as they dance. Jenna wants to dance in the next powwow but needs to find a way to make her dress dance (with jingles). I like how it shows the strong sense of family and portrays the woman in the story as strong and powerful.
Great story showing modern life of a Native American family. Would be good to incorporate a "real life" aspect into Native American curriculum that tends to be so heavily focused on the past.

The flow is a little disjointed at the beginning--I like how it incorporates different wording for the phases of the day, but might be confusing to young readers and/or parents.

VERY good Author's Note in the back. A+ for cultural references.
This is a great book to introduce a discussion on Native American customs and traditions. Jenna, the main character in this book, wants to jingle dance in the next powwow, so she asks to borrow the jingles from many family members in order to have enough for her own dress. Jenna is able to accomplish her dream of dancing at a powwow by representing all her family members who are not able to dance. It would also be interesting to point out the language of this book because it refers to the sun an ...more
Barb Middleton
About a girl that dances at a pow-wow. I got confused by Sun, Moon, and Bat. Part of a traditional story is mixed in with the realistic tale. It helps to read the story first. I had to explain to the kindergarteners what was happening and it was a bit long for them. I suggest older students. There are some videos online that could be shown to students of the dancers.
Carly Thompson
Story about a Creek girl who gathers jingles for her pow wow dress from family members. The simple text makes this an ideal read aloud for preschool - Grade 2. I thought the illustrations dated the book to the early 1990s but the little girls I read the story to really enjoyed it and were disappointed that there were not more books about Jenna.
Jul 17, 2015 Melle rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone, especially girls and women in a family
Recommended to Melle by: AILA; Debbie Reese
This is one of those picture books that should be in every library because it so perfectly depicts such a universal experience of contemporary Indigenous American life and of life within a big and loving community of extended family. Delightful, sweet, classic. And makes me miss my friends in Leech Lake Nation very much.
Danielle Harriger
PB 15: I thought this book was a poignant representation of the American Indian culture in a way that would keep children interested. I appreciated that they presented a different culture in a way that highlighted their traditions of dance. The story underscored the importance of family support and that resonated with me, as I was able to draw parallels from my own life with this story. I would recommend this story because I think it could spark conversations with children about their own herita ...more
Jenna wants more than anything to dance at the next powwow. She has no jingles for her dress, so she begins to borrow them for her dancing friends, one row at a time. Each borrowed row represents a strong female presence in her life. Beautiful watercolor illustrations add a wonderful quality to this story.
I thought this book was very interesting and I learned about a different culture. The main character in the book was looking for jingles for her dress. Her family contributed to her jingles and made it possible for her dress to ring and so she could perform.
Susan Menk
Tags: multicultural, Oklahoma, Creek Nation, Native American, family pride, honor, regalia, powwow, matriarchal, tradition, heritage, jingles, Standard Source

Jenna wants do be a jingle dancer at the upcoming powwow but she doesn't have enough jingles for her dress. She asks various female members of her extended family for help, while promising to dance in their place as a family representative. Set in contemporary Oklahoma, the story emphasizes the traditions and culture of the Native Americans
A wonderful story showing modern day Native American life with history and traditions included. This is a very simple yet powerful story and a wonderful read! Great for a read-aloud. Recommended for ages 3-8 years old.
MrsK Books
Not only is are the illustrations beautifully crafted, but the storyline has a rhythm that resonates the "jingle" and "movement" of this special tradition.

A must share for any educator and librarian.
This book talks about culture of native Americans and goes through the "jingles" females have on their dresses. You could use this books when discussing a social studies lesson about our nations past.
I got this book because I like, if possible, to have a variety of books from a variety of views for my nieces to read. A book about a Native American girl *living today* (it's so easy for young children to get the impression that Native Americans either are all dead, or are about as real as witches and ghosts, because all they ever hear about them is in the past), written by somebody who probably knows what she's talking about? I had to try it.

The story is fairly simple - a girl wants to dance,
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Cynthia's fiction is noted for its diversity, humor, lyricism, and mid-to-southwestern settings. Still early in her career, she has shown tremendous range and loves to experiment.

JINGLE DANCER, illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu, (Morrow / Harper-Collins, 2000)(ages 4-up) was a finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award, runner-up for the Western Writers Association Storyteller Award, a
More about Cynthia Leitich Smith...
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