DANCING WITH DZIADZIU by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

DANCING WITH DZIADZIU

Age Range: 4 - 8

KIRKUS REVIEW

 Young Gabriella listens to her grandmother's stories of Poland, immigrant life in America, and dancing with her handsome young husband, Dziadziu, in an enchanting, life-affirming story that's as iridescent as the glimmer between life and death. Bartoletti (Silver at Night, 1994, etc.) works magic, writing in the voice of the granddaughter and enabling readers to share the sadness of Babci's approaching death (``I remember when my grandmother was round as a loaf of bread and my arms couldn't fit around her waist. Now Babci's fingers are cold, and the bones float inside her skin'') and the joy of the premature Easter celebration the bedridden old woman has requested. There is humor in Babci's story of how her family ``branded'' their coal-camp free-range chickens by painting the birds' feet blue, and satisfaction in Gabriella's realization that--this time--she has performed her snowflake dance exactly right for Babci. This family is lovingly attuned to one another; Gabriella knows when Babci drifts from present to past, from talk to rest. The stiffly framed woodcut-like illustrations have none of the quicksilver quality of the text, but convey snapshops of the past, and the folkloric motifs that are obviously a part of the family's heritage. A wonderfully mature story, full of humanity. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-15-200675-3
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1997




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