Lovers of ballet will be enthralled by this coming-of-age of a 20th-century superstar.

READ REVIEW

AN UNLIKELY BALLERINA

An English girl embraces an unlikely but lifelong passion—dancing ballet.

Lily Marks, born in London in 1910, did not walk properly as a child. Her parents took her to a doctor who prescribed leg braces. Lily’s unhappy face led him to suggest a very different therapy, “dancing lessons,” and her parents agreed. Lily became a star pupil, singled out as very talented. She loved the classes and staged shows with her sisters. Private lessons followed. The turning point, however, came when her father took her to a performance by the legendary Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. And Lily and Anna shared another similarity; both were Jewish. (Pavlova’s father, according to some sources, was Jewish.) Lily got to meet her heroine after the ballet performance and even danced for her. Pavlova encouraged her, and Lily knew at that moment that “she would devote her life to the ballet she loved.” She danced with the Ballets Russes and other companies, and audiences responded with enthusiasm and love. An afterword explains that her professional name change to Alicia Markova came about because balletomanes loved Russian dancers. Goddu’s brief biography is filled with admiration for a ballet icon. Kawa’s stylized, jewel-toned illustrations are elegant and filled with scenes of old-world theaters, estates, and dress.

Lovers of ballet will be enthralled by this coming-of-age of a 20th-century superstar. (afterword, photographs) (Picture book/biography. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5124-8362-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kar-Ben

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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This simple and sincere tale of working up courage to face fears makes quite a splash.

JABARI JUMPS

Young Jabari decides today is the day he is going to jump from the diving board, even though it’s a little high and a little scary.

Jabari’s father and baby sister accompany him to the swimming pool in the city, where Jabari has already made up his mind about today’s goal: jumping off the diving board. “I’m a great jumper,” he says, “so I’m not scared at all.” But that’s not entirely true. Readers see Jabari play the waiting game as the other children (a diverse bunch) make their ways past him in line. Once Jabari finally begins to climb up, he slyly remembers that he forgot to “stretch.” The stalling techniques don’t faze his dad, who sees an opportunity for a life lesson. “It’s okay to feel a little scared,” offers his dad at the side of the pool. With renewed will, Jabari returns to the towering diving board, ready to embrace the feat. In her debut, Cornwall places her loving black family at the center, coloring the swimming pool and park beyond in minty hues and adding whimsy with digitally collaged newspaper for skyscrapers. A bird’s-eye view of Jabari’s toes clinging to the edge of the diving board as he looks way, way down at the blue pool below puts readers in his head and in the action.

This simple and sincere tale of working up courage to face fears makes quite a splash. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: May 9, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7838-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2017

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This Mother’s Day tale is rather limited in its audience to those who can afford fancy brunch after their own religious...

THE BERENSTAIN BEARS MOTHER'S DAY BLESSINGS

From the Berenstain Bears series

The Berenstains’ son adds a Mother’s Day entry to the series, continuing the adventures of the Bear family with a religious focus.

Brother, Sister, and Honey want to do something special for Mama for Mother’s Day, and Papa helps them think of just the thing—brunch at the Bear Country Inn after church—and they can invite Grizzly Gran, too. On the ride to church, Mama points out all the ways other families are celebrating their own mothers even though these community helpers are working on the holiday: Officer Marguerite’s children bring her flowers as she directs traffic, and Mrs. Ben’s children are pitching in with farm chores. Indeed, the trip to church is eye-opening for the cubs, who never realized that some of their neighbors even had children. During the church service, Preacher Brown thanks God for the gift of mothers and quotes the Bible: “Your mother was like a vine in your vineyard planted by the water; it was fruitful and full of branches.” While the illustrations are the same as ever (the smiling bears haven’t aged a bit!), the series seems to have moved away from addressing a variety of families.

This Mother’s Day tale is rather limited in its audience to those who can afford fancy brunch after their own religious services, contrary to its apparent message that being together is all that matters. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-310-74869-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Zonderkidz

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2016

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