Happy Friday! And I hope you have a wonderful weekend ahead, with warm weather and sun. I hope to do our regular Saturday thing of scheduling my blog posts and then going for a walk to one of our favorite restaurants, sipping Chia Tea on the way home. What do you like doing on Saturdays?
Another event is Perfect Picture Book Fridays where in I love visiting other PPBF posts and reading about a different picture book on each site. Usually they are the best pick of the lot. And usually I go away from this with a whole bag full of holds in my library account. Reading as many good picture books as I can will hopefully pay off in gold as I write picture book manuscripts. I hope some of that writing will rub off on me. Now for this weeks PPBF for me.
#PPBF/ Footwork, the Story of Fred and Adele Astaire
Title: Footwork, the Story of Fred and Adele Astaire
Author and Illustrator: Roxane Orgill / Stephane Jorisch
Themes: Biography, Nonfiction, Ballet, history
Resources: This book is not on You Tube but a lot of Fred and Adele ballets are. Here is one showing Fred’s totally perfect timing and how diverse he was. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfyXPONE7Ws
Here is a Q and A with Roxane Orgil about her picture book biography, Footwork: https://www.teachervision.com/authors/printable/65211.html
On another tack one could ask if your students are taking ballet and discuss why they think it should just be for girls or if boys could do it too and then launch into reading about Fred and Adele.
Age Range: 6 – 9 years /Grade Level: 1 – 4 Publisher: Candlewick; First Edition, First Printing edition (September 25, 2007)
Summary: From Amazon : “In 1905, four-and-a-half-year-old Fred Astaire put on his first pair of dancing shoes — and from that moment, his life was filled with singing, dancing, and fancy footwork. Fred’s older sister, Adele, was the real dancer, but Fred worked hard to get all the steps just right, and it wasn’t long before he was the one capturing headlines and stealing the show. In this fascinating story of child stars who hoof their way to knockout success on Broadway and beyond, Roxane Orgill and Stéphane Jorisch team up for a bravura performance, capturing the sophistication, fluidity, and grace of two of the biggest names in dance history.”
First Three Sentences: “One day, while Fred Astaire was waiting for his sister, Adele, to finish dancing class, he saw a pair of ballet shoes in the corner. He put them on and walked on his toes. He was four and a half.”
Why I loved this book: The art is period so it brings home to the reader just how different Fred and Adele’s world really was. It starts out, not saying much about the parents, but about how good at ballet Fred and Adele were. Then, “Suitcases were packed, and one morning in 1908…” just like it might be a big ole story to tell. And what a story it is. Orgill explains how Fred was the one to really study what made the show good and that ‘father’ listened to him. And she makes sure the reader realizes it was not an overnight success. They had to work hard. Practice over and over. Start small and work up. Important lessons.
As Adele and Fred grow into teens, they had to take a break from the stage and did not return till they were more graceful. It was 1917 when they were offered a chance to be in a musical on Broadway in NY city. Then they went to England and preformed for the Prince.
It was a lovely true story book.
IF you would like to join others in Perfect Picture Book Friday’s check outSusanna’s web site.
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And don’t forget: you can still order my true picture book, Edmund Pickle Chin, A Rescue Donkey Story on Amazon /