Review: Dancing With Daddy

Dancing With Daddy by Anitra Rowe Schulte and Ziyue Chen gives young readers a glimpse into the life of a young girl with Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome. Though the Author’s Note in the beginning of the book provides some great information around this rare chromosomal disorder, Dancing with Daddy really shines as a story about a daughter’s unbreakable bond with her father.

Title: Dancing With Daddy
Author: Anitra Rowe Schulte
Illustrator: Ziyue Chen
Publisher: Two Lions
Published: December 1, 2021
Format: Picture Book

Following a young girl named Elsie as she and her sisters prepare for the Father Daughter Dance at her school, Dancing with Daddy begins with Elsie picking out a beautiful dress. Elsie is feeling worried that the dance might be cancelled because of the snow, but luckily this story has a happier ending than that. The snow falls, but the dance is on, and Elsie and her sisters get to dance the night away with their Daddy.

The disabled representation in Dancing With Daddy is absolutely phenomenal. From feeding tubes to wheelchairs, young readers will see all the tools Elsie uses throughout her day, providing positive representation for children who use these tools and education for those that are unfamiliar. Adults may learn a thing or two as well! I was not familiar with Pragmatic Organization Dynamic Display (PODD) books before reading Dancing With Daddy, and I’m so grateful to learn about another way people can communicate with one another.

The illustrations by Ziyue Chen are absolutely lovely and capture all the joy of the Father Daughter Dance. I especially loved the detail put into Elsie’s dress and all its wonderful ruffles.

Dancing With Daddy is available wherever books are sold, including Bookshop and Amazon. (Please note: Some links provided are affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission for recommendations at no cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and to continue bringing content to you. I always appreciate your support!)

Thank you so much to Two Lions for providing me with a review copy of this wonderful book!

About The Author:

Anitra Rowe Sculte has worked as a journalist for the Kansas City Star and the Sun-Times News Group, as a staff writer for Chicago Public Schools, and as a publicist. She is the mother of three beautiful girls, one of whom has Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome and is the inspiration for Elsie in the book. She lives in the Chicago area and this is her first picture book. Learn more about her at and follow her @anitraschulte on Twitter.

About The Illustrator:

Ziyue Chen is the Deaf illustrator of a number of children’s books, including Mela and The Elephant by Dow Phumiruk, How Women Won the Vote by Susan Campbell Bartoletti, and Rocket-Bye Baby: A Spaceflight Lullaby by Danna Smith. She lives with her loved ones in Singapore. Find out more at or follow her @ziyuechen on Instagram.

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