Zappity Zip, Just That Quick!
by Judi Schleppenbach

"ZAPPITY ZIP just that quick she found herself standing among people she did not recognize!"

While her family in Little Italy, New York, is busy preparing food for the San Gennaro Festival, Aria sneaks into her Nona’s room and opens a forbidden box. Believing that there is magic in the beautiful stick within the pretty box, Aria whirls, waving the stick, which magically takes her around the world. To her surprise and joy, Aria finds herself in the midst of music and celebrations as she travels to Ireland, Native American lands, Brazil, Japan, India, Africa, and Australia, where she thoroughly enjoys herself.

The author delivers a charming, multicultural story based on rhythm and adventure. Using Aria’s experiences across the globe, Schleppenbach focuses on how diverse cultures express themselves through their dances, festivals, and songs. The beauty of Irish Step Dancing, Holi, Native American Powwow, Brazilian Carnival, Japanese Children's Day (Kite Flying) Celebration, Australian Dreamtime, and Baka music is depicted with such brilliance and energy, that children will be inspired to learn about various cultures and elements of their own roots. Additionally, this knowledge will help them develop an open and accepting attitude, thereby broadening their overall perspective of life. For all children who love stories, but have not seen the world beyond their community, Aria’s journey will fire up their imagination and deepen their interest in traveling the world.

Schleppenbach’s lyrical writing simplifies complex information, thus making this an ideal book, not just for casual reading but also for classrooms, where children can exchange ideas. Cynthia McManigal’s bright, colorful illustrations help readers visualize all the performances, while the song, “Tip Toe-In’ Around the World,” at the beginning and end of the book adds the perfect splash of tunes and happiness to the story. Vibrant and melodious, this book is like an unforgettable song that portrays how music is a shared language, bringing different people together.

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