Women of the Broadway theater take center stage in this loving homage.
Past and present are represented, from Ethel Merman and Pearl Bailey to Kelli O’Hara and Audra McDonald. Several women whose great talent lit up the stage in one special play, such as Aida’s Heather Headley and Fela!’s Lilias White, are also given a place in this admiration society. They are introduced in alphabetical order, sometimes using first names, sometimes last names, and sometimes the parts they played. Steven Sondheim is given a nod for the substantive female characters he created, and Bob Fosse for his unique choreography that allowed multitalented displays. Each entry appears as a clever verse in four-line abcb form, honoring the star’s talent or highlighting a particular role for which she is most known. The verses are accompanied by Emmerich’s digital illustrations, which accurately capture the individuality and facial features of the performers as they joyously play to their audiences. Full names of the women and the titles and dates of the shows they are depicted in appear in very small white print at the bottoms of the pages. A double-page spread of thumbnail portraits includes 32 additional divas. Allman obviously loves these performers and wants young readers to get to know them, but most of these children will probably need an adult who is a Broadway aficionado to guide them and perhaps put some show music on their playlist.
A lively introduction to a whole new cast of heroines. (biographical information) (Informational picture book. 8-12)