Kindergarten-Grade 3–Baryshnikov dances onto the stage of celebrity authors with a playful book about being true to oneself regardless of how others react.
A boy recounts how his grandmother always embarrasses him, beginning with Monday when she leaps over a neighbor’s head. As the week progresses, he quickly overcomes his discomfort and by Sunday has learned the reason behind her eccentric behavior.
Fact and fantasy intermingle freely as the child describes his neighborhood, and everyone from the crossing guard to an alley cat responds to Grandma’s antics by asking, Why? She brushes off their questions with a breezy because until she finally explains as she flies off into the sky, Because…I-am-a-dancer! The book’s dialogue appears to be handwritten and is incorporated into the illustrations, creating a bold transition from the typeface of the narration.
Light, playful characters float across the pages, their weightlessness and energy accentuated by broad expanses of white space. The strong artwork carries the spare, understated text, as the boy makes a surprisingly quick transition from embarrassment to awe and obvious pride. Fans of Baryshnikov and libraries looking for new titles about self-expression will wish to buy this book; others may consider it a supplemental purchase.
From School Library Journal
Suzanne Myers Harold, Multnomah County Library System, Portland,
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About the author
Mikhail Baryshnikov has danced all over the world and has received many honors, such as the National Medal of Arts, the Kennedy Center Honors, and numerous honorary degrees. He was artistic director of American Ballet Theatre from 1980 to 1989, and cofounded the White Oak Dance Project with Mark Morris in 1990. In 2005 the Baryshnikov Arts Center opened its doors at 37 Arts in New York City. BAC is dedicated to the development of new talent in all disciplines: directing, writing, choreography, design visual art, and performance.
Vladimir Radunsky has illustrated many wonderful books, including The Maestro Plays by Bill Martin Jr and Woody Guthrie’s Howdi Do. He is also the author-illustrator of 10 (ten) and (with Chris Raschka) of Table Manners.
The children whose quotes appear in this book all attend The Ambrit International School in Rome. This is their first book.