Firebird: Ballerina Misty Copeland Shows a Young Girl How to Dance Like the Firebird
Firebird: Ballerina Misty Copeland Shows a Young Girl How to Dance Like the Firebird

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Annotation: Ballerina Misty Copeland encourages an insecure young ballet student to believe in herself and achieve her dreams through hard work and dedication.
Catalog Number: #98686
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Penguin
Copyright Date: 2014
Edition Date: 2014
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-399-16615-7 Perma-Bound: 0-605-86177-3
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-399-16615-0 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-86177-0
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2014008878
Dimensions: 26 x 28 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
This vibrant picture book creates a conversation between two African American dancers, a girl who aspires to become a ballerina and American Ballet Theatre soloist Misty Copeland. Keenly aware of her shortcomings as a dancer, the girl admires Copeland, saying, "you are the sky and clouds and air / your feet are swift as sunlight," while describing herself in these words: "Me? I'm gray as rain / heavy as naptime, low as a storm pressing on rooftops." Copeland answers by looking back to her own beginnings as a girl learning her craft during countless hard, sweaty hours of practice. Throughout the poetic text, she offers encouragement and inspiration to the aspiring ballerina. Myers contributes a series of dynamic illustrations. Combining painted, printed, and photographed elements, these collages make fine use of color and texture. In an author's note, Copeland comments on her discovery of ballet, her appreciation of the women who mentored her, and her hope of empowering others to feel that they can achieve their goals. An inspirational picture book for children daunted by the gap between their dream and their reality. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Copeland's adult memoir, Life in Motion (2014), has become a New York Times best-seller, so there will be built-in interest for her children's book debut.
Horn Book
In an imagined dialogue, American Ballet Theatre soloist Copeland reassures a disheartened African American ballet student that she also had self-doubts: "darling child, don't you know / you're just where I started." Richly hued collages make the dancers on stage seem to fly. An author's note says that Copeland never saw herself in ballet books; this book encourages aspiring dancers of all colors.
School Library Journal
Gr 26 A poetic dialogue between an aspiring young dancer and the American Ballet Theater's soloist comprises the text of this stunning picture book. Copeland provides words of encouragement to boost the dreams of an African American girl whose desire to be a ballerina is hampered by her low self-image and lack of confidence. "I was a dancer just like you," Misty tells her, "a dreaming shooting star of a girl/with work and worlds ahead." Copeland's title role in Stravinsky's The Firebird serves as the theme for Myers's signature paint and collage illustrations, which feature full spreads bursting with color and excitement. Elongated forms and slanted geometric shapes are infused with a color palette of browns, yellows, and fiery reds contrasted with cool blues, purples, and splashes of white. Scenes of dynamic action and quiet serenity work together to move the narrative forward, leaving readers with a sense of hope for the future of the young dancer. The author includes a note that discusses her own struggle and need for affirmation, acknowledging those who helped her along the way. A very successful collaboration, appealing to all and particularly valuable to collections on the performing arts. Marie Orlando, formerly at Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (7/1/14)
Coretta Scott King Honor
Horn Book
School Library Journal (8/1/14)
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Reading Level: 1.0
Interest Level: K-3

In her debut picture book, Misty Copeland tells the story of a young girl--an every girl--whose confidence is fragile and who is questioning her own ability to reach the heights that Misty has reached. Misty encourages this young girl's faith in herself and shows her exactly how, through hard work and dedication, she too can become Firebird.

Lyrical and affecting text paired with bold, striking illustrations that are some of Caldecott Honoree Christopher Myers's best work, makes Firebird perfect for aspiring ballerinas everywhere.

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