Knockin' on Wood: Starring Peg Leg Bates

(Author) (Illustrator)

Product Details

Lee & Low Books
Publish Date
9.0 X 9.7 X 0.2 inches | 0.35 pounds

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About the Author

Lynne Barasch has written and illustrated several award-winning books for children, including Knockin' on Wood, Hiromi's Hands, and First Come the Zebra, all three published by Lee & Low Books; and Radio Rescue, an ALA Notable Children's Book and Texas Bluebonnet Award Masterlist selection. Barasch and her husband live in New York City. To find out more about Lynne Barasch, visit


* "This inspiring biography of Clayton 'Peg Leg' Bates, who lost his left leg in a cottonseed mill accident in 1919 at the age of 12, chronicles the man's amazing life from his days as the son of a sharecropper in South Carolina to his rise to fame as a tap dancer... Barasch's watercolor-and-ink cartoon paintings capture the poverty of the dancer's early life, the adulation of his fans, and his joyous love of dancing." -- School Library Journal, starred review

"It's a very neat story, told briefly but effectively; the illustrations are full of movement and flair" -- Kirkus Reviews

"[A] credible introduction to a memorable and remarkably resolute dancer." -- Publishers Weekly

"Sprightly ink-and-watercolor art ably depicts both the poverty of Bates' early life and the colorful world of entertainment. A remarkable two-page spread bridges the before and after, showing many small images of Bates in various tap dancing positions... Quotes at the book's conclusion offer a taste of his philosophy: 'Black or white, one leg or two, it doesn't matter. Good is good." -- Booklist

"This is a compact and enlightening biography of an unusual figure... Bates is a natty and amiable figure, whose airborne exuberance conveys his love of his art form. This will provide a useful dance counterpoint to all those pink ballet books, and it's also a lively and capable tribute to an American original." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Knockin' on Wood makes an important contribution to children's literature by raising awareness of this remarkable and talented man." -- Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children

Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, National Council for the Social Studies/ Children's Book Council

Paterson Prize for Books for Young People, The Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College