Dancing Hands

As a little girl, Teresa Carreño loved to let her hands dance across the beautiful keys of the piano. If she felt sad, music cheered her up, and when she was happy, the piano helped her share that joy. Soon she was writing her own songs and performing in grand cathedrals. Then a revolution in Venezuela forced her family to flee to the United States. Teresa felt lonely in this unfamiliar place, where few of the people she met spoke Spanish. Worst of all, there was fighting in her new home, too the Civil War.

The Red Piano

A beautiful and extraordinary account of international concert pianist Zhu Xiao-Mei’s hardships and triumphs while growing up during China’s Cultural Revolution, Stirring and inspiring, this picture book relates the story of a gifted young girl’s passion for the piano in a time of historic turmoil. During China’s Cultural Revolution a young girl is taken from her family and sent to a far-off labor camp. Forbidden to play the piano, she nevertheless finds a way of smuggling handwritten music into the camp and sneaking away at night to practice a piano in a secret location—until, one night, she is caught. Inspired by the amazing true story of international concert pianist Zhu Xiao-Mei, this acclaimed picture book poetically relates an astonishing story of perseverance set against a cataclysmic period of history.

James The Dancing Dog

James the beagle was a real dog. His master and mistress worked with the National Ballet of Canada, and between 1961 and 1972 he went with them to the studio, the rehearsal hall, and the theater where the dancers performed. Perhaps this is what James dreamed about when he lay quietly on the floor, his eyes fastened on the twirling dancers.From puppyhood James wanted to dance. Now, he certainly helped the dancers. He practiced their lifts with them. He helped them keep their figures trim by sharing their lunches. He allowed himself to be patted as a good luck talisman before the dancers went on stage. But this was not enough for James. In his heart he longed to be a dancer himself, to soar across the stage, the spotlight on him. One day the notice is posted that the company is to perform Giselle. The ballet includes a meaty role for a hunting dog, and James is sure that his moment has come. But the role goes instead to a long-legged wolfhound. James is left out in the cold. That is, until the wolfhound gets stage fright.