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FOOTWORK by Roxane Orgill

FOOTWORK

The Story of Fred and Adele Astaire

By Roxane Orgill (Author) , Stéphane Jorisch (Illustrator)

Age Range: 6 - 10

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-7636-2121-6
Publisher: Candlewick

Focusing on Fred and Adele’s childhood and acts, Orgill chronicles the siblings’ hard work as child dancers on the vaudeville and small-time music-hall circuits. Interesting details—such as the break taken so that the younger Fred could catch up with Adele’s physical development—are delivered in engrossing, if occasionally inelegant prose. (“The children went to school. For the first time, Fred sat at a desk in a classroom smelling of chalk.”) The narrative concludes by touching on Fred’s success as a solo artist and film star, as his and Adele’s paths diverge after 30 years as a duo. Jorisch’s digitally enhanced, mixed-media illustrations feature delicately inked line and a color palette evoking vintage costumery—a lovely approach for spotlighting both the dancers on stage and the architectural details of early-20th-century cityscapes. The handsome layout alternates pages of text facing bordered illustrations, with bordered text blocks against full-bleed double spreads. Pair this with aural and visual treats from the performers’ stellar careers. (selected bibliography of adult titles, selected discography, suggested films, television, website) (Picture book/biography. 6-10)