Friday, September 15, 2006


BALLET OF THE ELEPHANTS by Leda Schubert, illustrated by Robert Andrew Parker (Roaring Brook)
Fifty elephants dancing ballet? No, you're not dreaming. It really happened in 1942, the conglomeration of three geniuses: Stravinsky, Balanchine, and John Ringling North, three men who all wanted to make something beautiful. Sketchy, expressive watercolors mixed with pen-and-ink are the free-flowing medium well-matched to this celebration of the creative process. The elephants enjoyed the choreography so much, the would perform even when the music wasn't playing! Very finely researched by an author/librarian and featuring a finale photograph of the real performance, this title belongs in the center ring. A book like this can bring home the truth to the magical promise: if you can dream it, you can do it. (6 and up)

And if you are mid-pirouette, stop spinning and leap into your bookstore to get a copy of
TO DANCE: A BALLERINA'S GRAPHIC NOVEL by Siena Cherson Siegel, illustrated by Mark Siegel (Aladdin) Okay, toodle-oo to Noel Streatfield's charming old chestnut BALLET SHOES, here is a dance love-affair novel for a new generation. Little girls will be blown away by the passionate story of how one Puerto Rican girl really gets to the point...toe shoes, that is! Seigel should have seriously gotten more notoriety for his masterful picture book operetta SEADOGS, but this diamond of a book should establish him as an indisputable A-list illustrator. Get your front row ticket to reading, and be prepared to stand in ovation...this thing of beauty will undoubtedly inspire many new art appreciators and ballerinas of tomorrow. (7 and up)

Also of interest:

CARNIVAL OF THE ANIMALS edited by Judith Chernaik, illustrated by Satoshi Kitamura (Candlewick) Thirteen poets contributed works inspired by the menagerie of music by Saint Saens. Use the accompanying CD to encourage children to create their own creative masterpieces "to the tune of"! (5 and up)

On a personal note:
I will be appearing at The Bookstall in Winnetka, Illinois on Saturday, 9/16, around 11:30, as part of their teacher inservice (great booktalks given by the staff, too!). Come by if you are able!

Links are provided for informational use. Don't forget to support your local bookseller.


Anonymous said...

And don't forget this year's, The Turning, by Megan Whalen Turner. Ballet-centric as all get out, that one.

schubies said...

Wow- I am utterly thrilled to see my very own book blogged by the inimitable Esme. Delighted that you like it!


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