Colonel Lightfoot is never modest, especially when it comes to his dancing or his fine Virginia land. One piece of that land is turning to mud, and the devil himself is rumored to live in that murky mess, for on dark nights sparks fly high. How to put an end to the devil's mischief? Why, a dance contest with the fiery fiend himself. The colonel bristles with confidence, but the devil is equally sure of himself, until, recognizing his own false pride in the devil's boasts, the colonel discovers the perfect way to outsmart him.
Witty, expressive illustrations aglow with color bring to life a Colonial American tale that sizzles and snaps with humor and folk wisdom.
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MARY QUATTLEBAUM has written a number of children's books and frequently writes for The Washington Post. She lives in Washington, D.C. LEONID GORE has illustrated many picture books. He lives in Oakland, New Jersey.From School Library Journal:
Grade 1-5–A story set in Colonial Virginia and based on local legend. Colonel Lightfoot was an amazing dancer, and always the first to say so. His self-satisfaction and flashy moves caught the attention of the devil. Hating to be outdone, the fiend began dancing at night on the colonel's land, turning it into a swampy mess. Enraged and overly confident, Lightfoot challenged him to a dancing duel. Gore combined acrylics and pastels to create vibrant, textured illustrations. Lightfoot always appears to be thinner and sprightlier than the other characters, who are well dressed and proper. His elongated grace is echoed by his foe's lithe shape. A finely curled mustache and goatee add a bit of humor to the devil's countenance and prevent him from looking too evil. Likewise, winged angels and petulant, toddlerlike demons provide musical accompaniment and comic relief during the contest. In the end, Lightfoot bested his adversary, who slunk down to the fires below. Concluding the story with a few shivers, Quattlebaum reveals that on dark nights, people still see sparks flying on Dancing Point, where the competition continues. An author's note cites sources and informs readers that Dancing Point is a real place located along the James River. Told with tongue-tingling language, this story will make a great read-aloud.–Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA
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