Award: Thomas Rivera Mexican-American Children’s Book Award
I love the art of dance. My godson is a professional dancer and every time I attend one of his performances my heart soars and joins him on stage. He has my full admiration for pursuing his dream of dancing professionally despite the criticisms often aimed at young men who want to enter a profession where only stereotyped genders are supposedly the norm.
I was reminded of him last week as I happened to see this beautiful book for ages 9-12 titled José! Born to Dance, by Susanna Reich and Ill. Raul Colón in a bookstore. It is a picture book biography of dancer José Limón and his struggle to find his place in the world despite the Mexican civil war, his poor English and new culture, his mother’s death and his struggle between his family and dreams.
What I loved most about the book is that it does not question dancing as an acceptable career for a man; there isn’t even any mention of criticisms he probably dealt with. It simply and beautifully depicts the journey from emptiness to fulfillment in a way that encourages the readers to follow their dreams even if the road is long and difficult. Vivid text is accompanied by watercolor and colored pencil illustrations that seem to jump out of the page.
Topics found in this book include: family, perseverance, diversity, confidence and following your dreams.
If there is a dancer in your family and/or classroom, this is a great book to recommend.
Liked this review? Interested in your own copy of José! Born to Dance?
For a chance to win a free copy of this book, simply leave a comment.
A random entry will be chosen next Friday (August 21st).
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