Knockin' on Wood: Starring Peg Leg Bates (Paperback)
An inspirational biography of Clayton Peg Leg Bates (1907-1998), an African American man who overcame the hardship of losing a leg at age 12 and went on to become a world-renowned tap dancer.
Clayton Peg Leg Bates was one of the legendary tap dancers of the twentieth century. As a young boy, Clayton loved to dance, but when he lost his left leg in a factory accident at age twelve, no one thought he would ever walk again, let alone dance. But Clayton's musical spirit was still alive. Soon he was dancing using crutches, then a peg leg. Within a short time his peg leg matched the dancing ability of his other leg.
Peg Leg Bates performed throughout the United States and Europe, winning the hearts of audiences with his unique style of dancing. He was an amazing showstopper and an inspiration to everyone he met. With determination and a love of life, he turned misfortune into triumph. His most lasting achievement might just be the extraordinary example he set for us all.
Lynne Barasch's initial inspiration for Knockin' on Wood came many years ago when she learned about Peg Leg Bates from her daughter's tap dance teacher.
"A credible introduction to a memorable and remarkably resolute dancer." - Publishers Weekly
"It's a very neat story, told briefly but effectively; the illustrations are full of movement and flair..." - Kirkus Reviews
"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. Vignettes across a spread depict him performing typical tap steps in his own unique way." - School Library Journal