Alicia Alonso

A biography of Cuban ballerina Alicia Alonso. Alicia Alonso’s artistic achievements are remarkable, considering that she became partially blind and lost her peripheral vision at age nineteen. From childhood, she exhibited a passion for dancing, studying first in Cuba and later in New York City, where she became an overnight sensation in Giselle and was promoted to principal dancer in Ballet Theater. Returning to Cuba in 1948, she founded her own company, which eventually folded due to lack of funding. In 1959 the Cuban government gave her enough money to establish a new dance school, Ballet Nacional de Cuba, which Alonso directs to this day. In elegant free verse and stunning artwork rendered in watercolor, colored pencils, and lithograph pencils on watercolor paper, Carmen T. Bernier-Grand and Raúl Colón capture the seminal events in Alonso’s life. The back matter includes a biography, Alonso’s ballets, choreography, and awards, a glossary, sources, notes, and websites

The Piano Recital

It’s the day of Momo’s first piano recital. As she nervously waits for her turn to play, she tells herself, “I’ll be okay, I’ll be okay” Then she hears a voice nearby, also saying, “I’ll be okay … I’ll be okay …” It’s a mouseling! And the little mouse is nervous about her first performance, too. The mouseling invites Momo through a small door backstage, where Momo is amazed to find a miniature theater filled with an audience of finely dressed mice there to watch singers, dancers and circus performers! When it’s the mouseling’s turn, Momo agrees to accompany her on piano. The mouse audience is so appreciative! But then, as she rises to take her bow, Momo is surprised to discover – it isn’t a mouse audience at all!

It’s Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah, the funny guy who hosts The Daily Show on Comedy Central, shares his remarkable story of growing up in South Africa with a black South African mother and a white European father at a time when it was against the law for a mixed-race child to exist. But he did exist–and from the beginning, the often-misbehaved Trevor used his keen smarts and humor to navigate a harsh life under a racist government. This fascinating memoir blends drama, comedy, and tragedy to depict the day-to-day trials that turned a boy into a young man. In a country where racism barred blacks from social, educational, and economic opportunity, Trevor surmounted staggering obstacles and created a promising future for himself, thanks to his mom’s unwavering love and indomitable will. It’s Trevor Noah: Born a Crime not only provides a fascinating and honest perspective on South Africa’s racial history, but it will also astound and inspire young readers looking to improve their own lives.

Steve Goes To Carnival

At the city zoo in Rio lives a gorilla named Steve. Steve loves listening to music on the radio with his best friend, Antonio, the zookeeper. When Antonio leaves for the day, Steve feels the quiet of the night and lifts up the latch of his cage to escape and look for his friend. Luckily, he finds a big yellow hat at the tram stop to wear as the perfect disguise. But his adventure turns out to be bigger than he planned, because it’s Carnival time in Rio! Fireworks and dancers, drums and tambourines, samba whistles and trombones.

The Dam

Once the dam is built, the valley will be flooded. But before the homes there are submerged, Kathryn and her father return one last time to fill the houses with music. If you listen closely, you can still hear it–a song for all that was. Set in the wild and beautiful landscape of Northumberland, England, The Dam is a story of loss and hope and the power of folk music to transcend time.

The Piano

What do you do when a piano shows up in your yard? Take a cat-nap? Use it as a coffee table? What’s a band to do when one of its instruments goes missing? And what does a yellow sock have to do with anything? Join Filippa and friends in a whacky adventure when they wake up to find a piano in the front yard.

For Audrey With Love: Audrey Hepburn And Givenchy

When two young rising stars—Hubert de Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn—cross paths for the first time—it’s magic . . . literally, the perfect fit! All the famous ladies want a Givenchy dress—actresses, opera singers, princesses and the wife of a president. When Audrey Hepburn has to figure what to wear for her next movie, she approaches Givenchy, but he’s too busy to design something just for her. When he encourages her to try on clothing from within his collection, they’re both stunned by what they discover.

The True Tale of a Giantess: The Story of Anna Swan

In this thoroughly researched picture book biography, Anne Renaud uses playful and rhythmic language and first-person storytelling to perfectly capture the essence of this unique woman’s uplifting life. The detailed, folk art-inspired illustrations beautifully convey the story’s time and place and sensitively portray Anna’s growth. A great lead-in for classroom discussions about differences and inclusion, this book also offers an excellent character education lesson on perseverance. An author’s note with photographs and more information about Anna’s life make this a terrific choice for lessons on personal development or for social studies lessons on this period in history.