Posted by: Kathy Temean | February 25, 2020

Book Giveaway – LET’S DANCE! by Valerie Bolling

Valerie Bolling has written a new picture book titled, LET’S DANCE!, Illustrated by Maine Diaz and published by Boyds Mills & Kane. Valerie has agreed to share a copy with one lucky winner. All you have to do to get in the running is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you do to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter, reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. Thanks for helping Valerie and Maine!

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. Thanks!


This rhythmic showcase of dances from all over the world features children of diverse backgrounds and abilities tapping, spinning, and boogying away!

Tap, twirl, twist, spin! With musical, rhyming text, author Valerie Bolling shines a spotlight on dances from across the globe, while energetic art from Maine Diaz shows off all the moves and the diverse people who do them. From the cha cha of Cuba to the stepping of Ireland, kids will want to leap, dip, and zip along with the dances on the page!

This picture book showcases dances from all over the world with children of diverse backgrounds and abilities. From the kuku of West Africa to the cha-cha of Cuba to the stepdancing of Ireland, dancing is everywhere you go. The rhythmic prose of Let’s Dance! encourages readers to tap, spin, and boogie along! 


At the start of each year, my husband and I set goals for ourselves. Having been inspired by a visit from my nieces in December 2016, I decided that one of my goals for 2017 would be to explore the possibility of getting a picture book published. With this in mind, that January I wrote two stories in which each of my nieces was the protagonist (The Greatest Gift for Zorah and I Do for Anyah). I also found and revised two stories I wrote many years ago (Play Date and Come In! Come In!).

Thus began my pursuit to become a published writer. I spoke to people who I believed could be helpful resources – and they were – and I wrote and wrote and wrote. And revised even more. I enrolled in a course at Westport Writers and workshopped I Do and The Greatest Gift. I continued writing after the course ended.

Since most children, including Zorah and Anyah, enjoy dancing (and I do, too!), I decided to write a fun, rhyming story celebrating the universality of dance. My goal was to showcase dance as a language we all speak, even though we have different “accents.” With this in mind, I wrote I Love to Dance, which I later titled Let’s Dance!

Let’s Dance! was “liked” in a Twitter pitch in June 2018 by Jes Negrón, an editor at Boyds Mills & Kane. A couple of weeks after sending the manuscript to her, she expressed interest in publishing the book. When we had “The Call,” I shared with her my desire for the book’s illustrations to display an inclusive representation of children: gender, race, ability. Jes expanded upon my vision for diversity by recognizing that some of my words described cultural dances like Flamenco (Spain), Kathak (India), and Long Sleeve Dance (China). I am thrilled to have this added layer of cultural representation in my book!


Valerie Bolling has been an educator for over 25 years and a writer since age 4. She is a graduate of Tufts University and Columbia University, Teachers College and currently works as an Instructional Coach.

Her nieces inspired her to write picture books. Her desire is for children of all backgrounds to see themselves in her stories and feel valued and heard. Let’s Dance! is her debut book.​

Valerie and her husband live in Connecticut and enjoy traveling, hiking, reading, theater, and dancing.

CONTACT Valerie Bolling:
Twitter: @valerie_bolling
Instagram: @valeriebollingauthor and @letsdancebook


Born in La Plata, Argentina, Maine Diaz, grew up drawing and painting. She was often seen drawing with her pencils or crayons in deep concentration. Cartoons captured her imagination early on and realized immediately that she wants to be an animator when she grows up. Her mother, a biochemist and grandfather were truly flabbergasted upon hearing her declaration. At the age of 16 she took a workshop and start animating, working in films like Patoruzito, El Arca (Patagonik, Argentina), Gizaku and Nocturna (Filmax, Spain). Simultaneously, she enrolled in Audiovisual Communication at Universidad DeLa Plata (UNLP). Soon after, she also started illustrating for children’s story books and educational books.

In 2002 with Crimsomnia Studio, she was a finalist at Ford’s “Saldras mas” publicity contest, with “Habitos noctunos” short. In 2005 she won first prize for the character design category of Bizpills (Hi Impatc Learning Experiences), España. Currently, Maine lives in a tiny green house where she spends time with her two cats, Chula and Lola. She loves tending her garden while Chula eats all the plants and Lola jumps and climbs the trees. Maine prefers to be barefoot while painting and singing in her studio. She is a pretty good cook and sweated several years near the oven and many pans. When not illustrating, she also enjoys swimming, writing, taking photos. Maine was featured on Illustrator Saturday.

Thank you Valerie for sharing your book and journey with us.  Your rythmic text and Maine’s lively illustrations make me want to get up and dance, so I am sure kids will want to dance, too. They definitely will enjoy their time reading your book. Good luck!

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Oooo! Love seeing inside this book. It looks wonderful and I’ll be sharing this on Twitter and Facebook.


  2. i love the joy within this book! each week, we have dance party friday in my class, and we take turns choosing music. the kids (and teachers) love it, and we invite anyone who might be in the hallway in to join us )


  3. This book looks awesome. I’m ready to dance!


  4. What a fanTASTic way to celebrate the diverse world we live in! I LOVE the premise and the illustrations are SO joyful 😀 😀 😀 ❤

    (And you know I follow and always tweet 😀 )


  5. As a regular blog follower, I really enjoy reading about new books out there. This one will be a hit with teachers. I can see them reading this for a “movement” break to get the wiggles out. Fun!


  6. This book looks great! It even makes an old coot like me feel like dancing. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.
    I’ve tweeted a link to this post:, and pinned an image with a link on Pinterest:
    I also follow your blog daily by email: crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com.
    Thanks again, have a great day everyone!!


  7. Love the sounds in this book! Tapping my foot as I read this!


  8. Valerie and Maine, you have created such a fun book to read aloud. It wll definitely encourage kids to get dancing. Thanks Kathy for a great review.


  9. This is adorable, and I love that dances showcase cultures around the world. Congrats to both of you!


  10. As a dancer and Pb writer, I can’t wait to get my hands on this gorgeous book. Congratulations!


  11. Reading the words and taking in the lively illustrations make me want to dance. I’m sure this book will encourage kids to join in the dance, too. Congratulations Valerie and Maine!
    I look forward to reading your blog every day, Kathy!


  12. What a fun, beautiful book.


  13. Such a lively and joyful book!


  14. A perfect book for my granddaughter. Shared on Pinterest, Twitter, and FB. Thanks


  15. This looks so joyful! Congratulations!

    I have reposted to Twitter and Facebook and i get your daily blog, Kathy! Thanks so much for all your support!


  16. This looks like the perfect book to share with my six year old granddaughter. I just shared this on my Facebook and Twitter accounts.


  17. What a great idea and it looks like it was executed well.


  18. I appreciate all of your wonderful, encouraging comments. I hope you enjoy Let’s Dance!, and I appreciate you promoting it on your social media platforms. I’m truly grateful. I’m dancing now!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Love the movement-based language and the universal dance joy! Congratulations!


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