|Boys dancing : from school gym to theater stage|
Author: Ancona, George
Follow four energetic boys as they train for and take the stage in a community dance performance celebrating classic kids' books.
Kirkus Reviews (01/15/17)
School Library Journal (02/01/17)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 01/01/2017 This photo documentary chronicles the implementation of a school dance program, led by instructors from the National Dance Institute of New Mexico, in various elementary schools. Based on the title, readers might expect some challenging of conventional gender norms, and to some extent, the book delivers on this promise. The narrative highlights four boys: Raptor, Ely, Logan, and Ryan, whose boundless playground energy is harnessed and choreographed through classes in ballet, tap, and acting. The parallels between sport and dance are made abundantly clear so as to disabuse skeptical readers of the notion that dancing is not a masculine activity. Photographs depict the boys leaping, strength training, running, fake fighting, and learning to make scary faces. They are clearly having a good deal of fun with some dancing snuck in. This book might matter more to those already involved in the arts, but it is wonderful to see boys so positively portrayed on the dance floor. A warm tribute to the tremendous effort, dedication, and collaborative spirit needed to put together a multischool performance. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 02/01/2017 Gr 1–3—Instructors from the National Dance Institute (NDI) in New Mexico visit local schools to engage boys in the performing arts. Students are taught how to dance in order to star in a multiple-school production. The dances are athletic and fun, allowing the boys to pretend to be pirates, monsters, and more. The straightforward text features moments that will be relatable for most readers ("When the students become too noisy to hear Pamela, she claps her hands—1, 2…1, 2, 3. Then the students clap back the same rhythm—1, 2…1, 2, 3—and they quiet down."), accompanied by photographs that depict the rehearsal process and some of the final performance. Specifics of how the instructors rally the class are also included. ("Emily is choreographing the opening dance. She moves pieces of paper around on the floor to show the dancers where they should be and where they should go.") The photos depict a diverse mix of eager, happy students leaping, tapping, perfecting a pas de deux, and more. While dancers may get a kick out of seeing how NDI puts on a show, this title is unlikely to get the uninitiated itching to get started, as some familiarity with the subject is needed. VERDICT Consider where dance and theater performance are popular.—Laura Stanfield, Campbell County Public Library, Fort Thomas, KY - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.