Review: Jingle Dancer

Jingle Dancer :: Children's Book Review
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Jingle Dancer

Author: Cynthia Leitich Smith

Illustrators: Cornelius Van Wright + Ying-Hwa Hu

Published in 2000 by Morrow Junior Books

Jingle Dancer shares the story of a young girl named Jenna who, as a member of the Muscogee Nation with Ojibway descent, lives in an intertribal community. Her grandmother is a traditional jingle dancer, and Jenna deeply admires the dances her grandmother performs at powwows with other Native women in beautiful dresses covered in jingles. Jenna aspires to be a part of the jingle dancing tradition as well, but she encounters a dilemma when her dress does not have any jingles. Jenna’s family and community come together to help prepare her to carry on this sacred family tradition. This story is great for a reader who is interested in exploring the value of having a tradition.

Additional Resources:

Jingle Dancer Comprehension Questions:

Interview with Illustrators Ying-Hwa Hu and Cornelius Van Wright:


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