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A Review of

My Dad Does Belly Dancing

by Susan Gates




Drawing on the common pre-teen experience of children feeling embarrassed by their parents, this book explores how a boy might react if his dad decided to learn how to belly dance. Cover



Fact Sheet


My Dad Does Belly Dancing


Susan Gates




Dingles & Company


Fiction: For Children



Number of Pages


Published In


Reading Level

Ages 9-12




This story is told through the eyes of a boy named Cal who is embarrassed by his father. Even when his father shows up at school to pick him up, Cal is embarrassed, and the other kids' taunts about his dad's big belly don't help matters any.

Things get worse for poor Cal when his father sees a flyer advertising a belly dance class that says, "Men Welcome" and decides to try it. It's bad enough when his dad practices at home and encourages him to join in, but the last straw comes when dad announces that his class will be doing a performance at Cal's school!

The climax of the book is the performance at the school. I won't describe it because I don't want to give away the ending, but I'll just say it's a satisfying ending to a book that's fun to read.

Every page of the book contains an illustration by Doffy Weir that matches the part of the story being told on that page. The illustrations are cute, and capture the tone of the book very well. They even include a family cat which seems to share Cal's disdain for his father's antics!



Is It Right for You?


You Will Probably Enjoy This Book If...

  • You are a pre-teen who is embarrassed by the idea of your parent taking belly dance classes.
  • You have a pre-teen or teen-ager who is embarrassed by the idea of you belly dancing!
  • You enjoy collecting books that are somehow related to belly dancing.


This Book Probably Isn't Right for You If...

  • You have no interest in children's books.
  • You feel an aversion to the idea of men belly dancing.



What I Liked, What I Didn't


What I Liked:

  • The story line is believable.
  • The writer uses bits of humor throughout, to make the book fun to read.
  • I could easily envision the son of this belly dancing man squirming with embarrassment at his dad's behavior.
  • The illustrations match the story line well.
  • A note from the author at the very end explains what inspired her to write this book.
  • The book portrays belly dancing in a positive way.


What I Didn't Like:

  • I can't think of anything I didn't like!




This book is cute. Even though the book is intended for pre-teens, I enjoyed reading it. The story is a believable tale of how a boy would probably react to his dad learning how to belly dance, and is told with enough humor to make it fun to read.




There is nothing to disclose. I have never had any contact with the author of this book.



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