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DREAM DANCER by Jill Newsome Kirkus Star


by Jill Newsome & illustrated by Claudio Muñoz

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: March 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-06-000932-2
Publisher: HarperCollins

In their second collaboration, husband-and-wife team Newsome and Muñoz (Shadow, 1999) effectively encapsulate the elusive essence of dance with the joyful story of a little girl named Lily and her tiny wooden dancing doll. A talented and committed ballet dancer, Lily dances every waking moment and even in her dreams, shown in a glorious double-page spread of a leaping Lily followed by three air-born animals shown in mid-leap. Her dancing is interrupted when Lily falls from a tree, breaking her ankle and causing a year-long absence from her ballet classes. After a long, slow recovery period (with her magically dancing doll by her side), she returns to her top form and “Lily danced once more like a dream.” Muñoz is a master at depicting a dancer in motion, using his soft, expressive watercolors to show Lily’s fluid, graceful movements and dancer’s posture. Newsome’s short, smoothly told story is understated and poetic, with the double drawing power of a doll and dance. She quietly shows that real dancers live their art and work hard at it daily, putting in the sweat equity to achieve their dreams. A polished pas de deux from a pair of pros. (Picture book. 4-8)