Black Swans

Sunbird. Nov. 2022. 40p. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9781503764095.
Gr 1-4–From the front cover alone, this title conveys a warmth and variety of styles, showcasing everything from traditional ballet to contemporary dance, and that “swans” is a gender-inclusive term. Inside, the respect continues. Six dancers whose lives span the dance world of the last century and this one are introduced with brief histories. The pattern for each dancer, from Arthur Mitchell to Misty Copeland, is carefully chosen and retold. Each one experiences a rejection of their talents, breakthroughs in the dance world, and an impressive exhibition of perseverance when they not only succeed but work to make their field more inclusive. The highlighted stories end with the refrain that they continued to dance or are dancing, lending a tone of resilience against trials. Every page of this book resonates with love and admiration for dance. Back matter includes a list of other dancers, notes about the author and illustrator, and the inspirations for the book. The dancers’ athleticism and gorgeous costuming in the illustrations will make even casual readers want to leap to their feet and move.
VERDICT A must for every collection, and a cornerstone for the dance shelves.

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