A lifelong tapper brought Gus to life in The Thumbtack Dancer. Years before, Leslie gave life to her character, Albert – who also had to use those feet of his to keep up with his creator and partner.
Jan Spivey Gilchrist modeled The Thumbtack Dancer, Gus, after Jahkil. While at the American Library Association Conference and Exhibition in late June 2017, Leslie and Jahkil shared a tapping stage on the exhibition floor.
In honor of Ashley Bryan’s 94th birthday today, we wanted to note that this book is dedicated to him by Leslie and he can be heard performing the story by accessing the QRC on the back cover. Happy Birthday, Ashley Bryan!
We are delighted to share that The Thumbtack Dancer has received a starred Kirkus Review. A starred Kirkus review draws attention to quality literature and is a wonderful voice of support. This kind of acknowledgement certainly boosts Gus’ confidence as he dances across these pages.