To dream, to dare, to dance

January 9, 2010 at 11:00 am

To Dance by Siena Cherson Siegel, illustrated by Mark Siegel; published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, New York; 2006.

A quick look at the end pages summarizes the story—from a young girl dancing on the beach to a young mother with her child and husband dancing on the beach.  The story opens with Seigel explaining that “big, empty spaces always made me dance”—ah, the end pages explained in just a few words.  Siegel’s story, illustrated by her husband Mark, is a biography that will speak to all children who have a passion for something, but especially for the little girls that spend so many Saturday mornings in ballet class, dreaming of becoming a prima ballerina.  Words and pictures blend into a singular story that tells of the development of her passion.  I can’t imagine this story told in any format other than a graphic novel.  For all these reasons and more, this book was an ALA Notable Children’s Book and was a Sibert honoree.

I would certainly use this to introduce upper elementary students to biographies.  I would also use it in a ballet kit for families to borrow or in a display about careers.  Hmm, I think it would be well-paired with a fiction title in a fiction/non-fiction paired kit, maybe with Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield.

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Entry filed under: ALSC Notable Winner, Biography, Graphic Novel (fiction or non-fiction, grades K-6), Non-fiction or Informational, Robert Sibert Informational Book Medal or Honor Book. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

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