Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sharing the love of stories & dance: the Nutcracker and beyond (ages 4-9)

Are you going to see the Nutcracker this a holiday? Introduce the magic of dance with these picture books, and let the power of the moment fill your child’s imagination.
The Nutcracker in Harlem
by T.E. McMorrow, illustrated by James Ransom
HarperCollins, 2017
Amazon / local library
ages 4-8
The vibrant Harlem Renaissance makes a grand setting for this charming reimagining of the classic Nutcracker story. Marie shyly watches as her beautiful Harlem home fills with music and dancing on Christmas Eve, but she can’t bring herself to perform. When she falls asleep and begins to dream, she finds her courage and her voice as she defends the Nutcracker from the army of uniformed mice. Ransome’s lyrical illustrations bring the Jazz Age to life.
Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova
by Laurel Snyder, illustrated by Julie Morstad
Chronicle, 2015
Amazon / local library / Google Books preview
ages 5-9
With beautiful, graceful illustrations and poetic text, this book captures the spirit and charm of one of history’s prima ballerinas. Although Anna was born to a poor family in Czarist Russia, she was determined to become a ballerina. Young children will revel in this resolve, but it’s the imagery that will stay with them in their dreams.
Danza! Amalia Hern├índez and Mexico’s Folklorico Ballet
by Duncan Tonatiuh
Abrams, 2017
Amazon / local library / Google Books preview
ages 5-9
Amalia Hern├índez studied ballet and modern dance, and she blended these styles with “folkloric danzas” she saw as a child in Mexico City. Forming her own small company, she traveled throughout Mexico to research and create dances that intertwined Mexico’s many traditional and indigenous “danzas” with modern dance styles. A beautiful, stylistic picture book biography.
Firebird
by Misty Copeland, illustrated by Christopher Myers
G.P. Putnam’s Sons / Penguin, 2014
Amazon / local library / Google Books preview
ages 6-10 
This moving picture book reassures young readers that they can pursue their dreams. When a discouraged African-American girl looks up to her idol--ballet star Misty Copeland--the older dancer reassures her saying, "darling child, don't you know / you're just where I started." Their imagined conversation develops as the young child takes center stage. the blend of soaring illustrations and inspiring words will encourage many young dancers.

The review copies were sent by the publishers and came from my public library. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books. Thank you for your support.

©2017 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

1 comment:

  1. "Introduce the magic of dance with these picture books" - I really like the idea and with strong illustrations I can see how this could actually work. Thank you Mary.

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