Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Emily's Picks: A joyful dance party for kids (and a 3 a.m. choice for parents)


When fellow parents ask how I find time to read with a newborn and toddler at home, I tell them I read what I love! Here's a peek at what I’m enjoying and what my children and I are reading together, because finding books they love will help your kids read more too. Both of these titles, and many more, are available as eBooks or audiobooks in KCLS’ digital collection.

[ New to e-books, streaming, etc.? Learn much more about what King County Library System has to offer in this introduction. ]


What we’re reading: “How Do You Dance?” by Thyra Heder

This gleeful celebration of the joy of dancing is a perfect prelude to a family dance party, which makes for a great indoor activity while families are stuck at home right now! A wonderful read aloud for one kid or many. Consider organizing a group video chat for your friends and family to join in. On the opening spread, a diverse group of kids move in answer to the question, “How do you dance?” From there, the joy spreads to more kids, to adults, and then to new settings, like the bus stop. But why should people have all the fun? Dinosaurs, robots and horses get to dance too, and the book culminates in a giant, inclusive dance party, complete with a disco ball. Heder’s colors are muted, but there’s so much expression in her lines that readers might expect her dancers to leap right off the page.


What I'm reading: “The Austen Playbook” by Lucy Parker

Sitting up in the middle of the night with a newborn lends itself to a certain kind of reading. For me, Lucy Parker’s breezy London Celebrities series is just right. “The Austen Playbook” follows a smart but strident theater critic who is trying to save his family estate, and a bubbly actress desperate to build a career on her own terms, despite her overbearing father. Throw in a live production of a murder mystery based on Jane Austen’s novels, and you’ve got something very fun. It's engaging enough to keep me awake at 3 a.m., but not so gripping I can’t put it down and fall right back asleep when I need to. Perfect for fans of Jasmine Guillory’s work.


Emily Calkins is the readers' services program coordinator for the King County Library System, where she specializes in connecting readers with stories, authors and each other. She is also the co-host of the library’s podcast, The Desk Set. As a reader, she likes flawed characters, atmospheric world-building, and anything with a slow-burn romance. When she’s not reading or listening to audiobooks, she’s cooking, gardening and spending time with her family.


About the Author