Well, Wenda the Wacky Wiggler by Christopher Aslan with illustrations by Emily Mullock (BENJAMIN brown books, December 2008) loves to dance too, and once I read her story, I fell in love with Wenda. "My Girl! Talking ’bout, my girrrllll!" My girl!
The story opens with an adorable illustration of a girl named Wenda who loves to move. She moves to the beat that only she can hear. No one in her community understands her and/or why she likes to move so much. And needless to say, that is where the conflict is.
"The people in her town were grumpy and grey so Wiggling Wenda was told not to stay. People were cranky and seemed kinda of mad; they couldn’t see the joy that Wenda had."
…yet Wenda, keeps on grinning, dancing and expressing herself!
How many times do we diffuse a student’s enthusiasm because we don’t FEEL like being bothered, or listening to them? Their "antics" and "movements" make us uncomfortable. Why? Maybe, just maybe, they hear a song that gets them motivated to act on their own accord. Is that so bad? It may inspire learning.
Wenda the Wacky Wiggler has many messages. One message that resonates for me is to BE YOURSELF!
The part of the story that made me cry is one that you need to read. There is a moment when Wenda’s altruism is challenged by the adults around her. Don’t let ME lose the impact for you. Just know that this story will inspire you and your children to choose to DANCE. And nothing is wrong with that! So, I hope you dance!"