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Flying Feet: A Mud Flat Story    by James Stevenson order for
Flying Feet
by James Stevenson
Order:  USA  Can
Greenwillow, 2004 (2004)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Stevenson's whimsical drawings make a charming backdrop for his latest Mud Flat story, in which Tonya and Ted bring their tap-dance scam to town. It's essentially a tale of the triumph of innocence, perseverance, and dreams.

It begins with blossoming 'beach plums' and Stan's sharing his desire for fame with Maureen. They hear sounds 'like a bunch of giant woodpeckers', which of course turns out to be Tonya and Ted showing off their tap-dancing skills. Townsfolk quickly fork out cash for lessons and to be part of a 'fabulous Flying Feet show'. They're not very good but they practice very hard. In fact, Stan is so poor a tap dancer that he's assigned posters, tickets and lemonade instead. Of course, just as everyone gets excited about the show, Tonya and Ted vamoose in their van. Everyone argues and is ready to give up.

Then Stan has an idea, which leads to a stupendous show with a surprise ending. Kids will connect with the excitements, disappointments and ultimate triumph in this foot-tapping tale, in which small Stan, through ups and downs, keeps on dreaming.

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