Finding My Dance

Penguin Workshop. Sept. 2022. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593093894.
Gr 3-5–The artist known as “Beautiful Thunder Woman” chronicles her career, beginning with a jingle dress her mother made for her. She traveled across the country with her family dancing the “Pow Wow Trail.” Beautiful Thunder Woman explored other forms of dance, but found “classical dance is rigid and structured, while [her] traditional dance is more grounded and expressive.” Beautiful Thunder Woman pushed through, joined a dance group, and won prizes. As the only Native American in her school, she was too shy to correct people who mispronounced her name, but “I could always dance it out and feel better.” Eventually, she danced her way around the world. The tale comes full circle when Beautiful Thunder Woman has her daughter, and corrects people who say her name wrong, “so she will correct them also. Every time someone says our names, they are speaking a language that still exists, and a culture we still honor, despite many attempts to wipe it out forever.” The text is in a different font and color when she explains something of importance to her. Richly colored illustrations convey movement, from the shawl’s fringe to the eagle wings. Native American art motifs are woven throughout, including patterns on the end pages. With so little on this subject available outside of Indigenous communities, and even less written down, this is a compelling volume of a life and the importance of self-expression, as well as the protection of custom.
VERDICT A warmly illustrated memoir of dance and culture, this will have broad appeal about using art for expression and to overcome difficulties.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing