Frances Dean Who Loved to Dance and Dance

illus. by Birgitta Sif. 32p. Candlewick. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780763673062. LC 2013952829.
K-Gr 2—Frances Dean adores dancing so much that she even makes her fingers "dance" on her desktop at school. It's only when she's alone, though, that she indulges herself in her joy for leaping and twirling. When she's around others, she loses her self-assurance. However, when the birds show her a little girl who is singing a lovely song all to herself, Frances Dean is struck by the beauty of the girl's voice. Inspired by how much she enjoyed the experience, she decides that maybe she, too, can bring a little extra something into others' lives by sharing her love of dance. The text is so spare that it's more poetry than prose, and its understated presence allows the artwork to shine. The pages are filled with warm, earth-toned illustrations of adorable woodland creatures, inviting outdoor settings, and the endearing expressions of Frances Dean as she contemplates revealing what makes her so very happy. This sweet, simple book is an utterly charming reminder that giving the best parts of ourselves enriches the world around us.—Alyson Low, Fayetteville Public Library, AR
Pigtailed Frances Dean loves to dance. "But when people were around, all she could feel were their eyes on her..." so she practices with birds, pets, and an old woman, all of which prepare her to finally share her moves in public. Sprightly pencil illustrations, digitally colored in a tawny, fall palette, pleasingly depict the transformation of a solitary child into a social one.

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