Recommended: Jitterbugs! A dance-along story inspired by real American Jitterbugs.
April 1, 2015

Written by Margot Toppen and illustrated by Karen Light

EduMotion LLC; 32 pages; $17.99

Shorty George is a teeny-tiny bug with a gift for swing dance. Big Bea is a giant bumblebee, twice Shorty George’s size but just as good a dancer. When they meet on the dance floor in 1920s Harlem, it’s a match made in swing-dance heaven.

Margot Toppen’s children’s book (with vivid illustrations by Karen Light that nearly jump off the page) is based on the true story of unlikely swing dance couple Shorty George and Big Bea. It’s a fun read with a sweet message—whatever your size, it shouldn’t stop you from dancing—and great details about the New York City swing dance scene in the ’20s and ’30s. Jitterbugs! comes with bonus materials, too: Vintage music and video clips, activity sheets and even common core lesson plans are available for download on

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