A slightly fictionalized account of the great dancer- choreographer's (1931-89) early training and rise to fame, ending with the triumphant 1960 production of Revelations. Andrea Pinkney's narration is an undetailed but effective appreciation, written in an energetic, expressive style. Her husband's scratchboard illustrations are grand, beautifully capturing the dancers' rhythmic movement in swirls of fine lines and subtle, rather somber color enriching the black underlay. A final note fills in some of the facts; this attractive introduction, based on interviews with many who knew Ailey, will leave readers hungry for more. (Biography/Picture book)

Pub Date: Oct. 11, 1993

ISBN: 1-56282-413-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1993

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A newly illustrated reissue of a 1955 text which has held up well, in general: an expectant family first welcomes kittens, then puppies (and keeps them all, so the clear-toned watercolor illustrations offer many opportunities for counting), then a baby. The pint-size narrator is from the same mold as the irrepressible heroine of Samuels' Dolores books (Bradbury, 1986-89); they even share the same fondness for big hats and cowboy boots. The simple parallelism of the text, which shows the human mother (like the canine and feline ones) loving, kissing, and feeding her offspring, requires that the human father be anachronistically portrayed offstage or as the fond onlooker of a generation ago rather than as the active participant that he often is today. But young readers will be more concerned with the narrator, who neatly places herself just where most children would want to be—smack in the center of everything: ``All the mothers had their babies. All the fathers had their babies. And I had all their babies,'' she says happily, as puppies, kittens, and little brother clamber over her. There are more than enough books that deal with sibling rivalry; this one primes a child on all the positive wonders of being an older sibling. (Picture book. 2-5)*justify no*

Pub Date: March 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-671-87044-0

Page Count: 34

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1995

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