|Madame Saqui : revolutionary rope dancer|
Author: Robinson, Lisa
How eighteenth-century circus child Marguerite-Antoinette Lalanne became a tightrope dancer despite her parents' objections and rose to fame to become Napoleon's favorite acrobat.
Kirkus Reviews (01/01/20)
School Library Journal (04/01/20)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/03/20)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 02/01/2020 In 1791 Paris, Marguerite-Antoinette Lalanne performed with the circus for the first time, as her parents danced on a rope high overhead; the five-year-old couldn’t wait until she could join them up there. Her dreams were paused after a fall left her father injured and political turbulence erupted in Paris, but Marguerite didn’t let that keep her down. At age nine, she “staged her own petite revolution” and began training in secret. Robinson describes Marguerite’s ascent to stardom as Madame Saqui, wonderfully rendered by Green, who captures Marguerite’s joy and passion for performance in illustrations dancing with country blues and coral. Whether in panoramic panels or in full-page close-ups, the art places the reader among the dazzled audiences. Years before the Wallendas or Philippe Petit, Marguerite was skipping between the towers of Notre-Dame; she was even honored by Napoleon. This celebration of an astonishing artist will fill readers with wonder and, perhaps, the desire to join the circus. Back matter includes an author’s note on Madame Saqui, a French glossary, and a bibliography. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 04/01/2020 PreS-Gr 3—During the French Revolution, Madame Saqui (1786–1886) may not have been a revolutionary herself; but her style, attitude, and passion for rope dancing were revolutionary ideas indeed. Long before Philippe Petit, who walked between the World Trade Center Buildings, or Charles Blondin, who walked on a wire across Niagara Falls, Madame Saqui achieved international fame as a rope dancer and wire walker. Born Marguerite-Antoinette Lalanne, she grew up in Paris with a dream to perform on a tightrope just like her parents. Not satisfied with making bonnets, she secretly practiced rope dancing at the fairgrounds, reigniting her family's passion for performing. She married fellow acrobat Julien Saqui and danced into the heart of Paris and gained the admiration of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. Through both fame and hardship, Madame Saqui danced on without falling; Robinson's high regard for her subject creates a glowing tribute to the rope dancer. Green's palette of soft colors and gouache illustrations provide luminous visuals of early 1800s Paris and highlight the magic of these performances. An author's note, a glossary of French terms, and a bibliography are included. VERDICT This lesser-known subject is an inspiration for daring girls. An excellent addition to biography collections.—Jamie Jensen, Wayne Cox Elementary School, Roanoke, TX - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.