MY FRIEND MAYA LOVES TO DANCE by Cheryl Willis Hudson

MY FRIEND MAYA LOVES TO DANCE

Age Range: 4 - 7
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KIRKUS REVIEW

An African-American girl loves attending ballet class, tapping to jazz, singing in church and freestyling in the mall, but dancing in “kente cloth is best.” That’s when Maya has a “look of pride on her face”—though why, when kente is the best, she only wears it in one spread is a little mystifying. She can move to every type of music from Bach to reggae to gospel. Maya’s friend, who makes two cameo appearances, narrates this poetic love note. It is all told in verse that is undistinguished and illustrated with full-page oil paintings from Velasquez that are pedestrian but colorful. Many girls may enjoy seeing the different dance outfits, while other readers may be drawn to the African-American children, both boys and girls, who fill the pages. Curiously for a book that emphasizes depictions of African-American characters, though, Maya’s narrator friend is one of the few Caucasians to appear. Sharp eyes may also note some famous musicians on one double-spread. A bit of a jumble, but a pretty one. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8109-8328-1
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Abrams
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2010




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