May 23, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Danza! Amalia Hernández and El Ballet Folklórico de México | SLJ DVD Review

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redstarDanza! Amalia Hernández and El Ballet Folklórico de México. 22 min. Dreamscape. 2017. $38.99. ISBN 9781520081144.

Gr 2 Up –Animation brings to life Duncan Tonatiuh’s biography of Amalia Hernández, the talented dancer and founder of the Ballet Folklórico de México. Tonatiuh’s distinctive art style is combined with the different folkloric dances of various regions of Mexico. The vibrant illustrations leap off the screen as Hernández begins to learn ballet and travels through Mexico to study the histories and dances of the regions. Adriana Sananes’s strong, clear narration guides viewers through Hernández’s youth, the origin of her interest in dance, the creation of one of the most renowned dance companies in the world, and, ultimately, Hernández ‘s role as choreographer and teacher to young students who would dance in the company. Young viewers will learn not only about styles of folkloric dance but about Hernández ‘s efforts to include the history and traditions of indigenous peoples of Mexico, such as the Nahua, in an effort to celebrate the diversity of Mexico. An author’s note follows the story and a glossary includes detailed definitions of the dances and histories covered, along with a pronunciation guide. VERDICT Beautifully animated and narrated, this is an essential purchase for children’s biography collections.–Selenia Paz, Harris County Public Library, TX

This review was published in the School Library Journal February 2018 issue.

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