Friday, December 08, 2006

Ballerinas, take note

We've just received a book that's received a lot of good reviews and attention, and it's one of my favorites I've read this year. If you know a ballet-obsessed tween or teenager (or you are one yourself), you'll want to look for To Dance , written by Siena Cherson Siegel and illustrated by Mark Siegel.

Through text and illustrations, we learn about Siena's ballet career, from her first classes, performing in the Nutcracker, studying at the School of American Ballet, worrying about how puberty will affect her ballet, and leaving the professional ballet track to go to college. If this had been out when I was a dance obsessed 11 year old, I would have eaten this up. Siena Cherson Siegel is currently the manager and director of American Ballet Theatre's ballet training programs and is married to Mark Siegel, the illustrator (the last illustration is adorable-it shows Siena running on the beach with a baby, with a man we assume to be Mark following and carrying the necessary beach equipment).

In a graphic novel, the illustrations are just as important as the text. They help tell the story. In some panels, Siena's emotions come through as clearly and eloquently-perhaps more so-as anything she could have written about that specific situation.

A great read. One of my favorites of 2007!

(We also have the book that Siena loves as a young dancer.)

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