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Children's Literature @ NYPL
Booktalking "Giant Dance Party" by Betsy Bird
Lexy longs to perform in dances, but stage fright nixes that dream. Instead, she decides to become a dance teacher so that she can dance and avoid the stage. After all, dance teachers do not have to perform. Unfortunately, recruiting students seems impossible, even for free dance lessons. Frustrated, she quits being a dance teacher, but, unbeknownst to her, the next day a bunch of furry blue friendly giants show up at her doorstep, looking for a free dance class.
Lexy looks up at them in wonder in her translucent white tutu. She informs them that she had quit being a dance teacher, but their disappointed faces prompts her to change her mind. Reluctantly, she agrees to teach a class to giants Gully, Neesha, MacDuff, Molina and Polly. Their work culminates in performance pieces that a huge audience congregates to see. A giant panoply of dance expressions in a multitude of styles grace the stage. Lexy and the giants take bows together at the end, ecstatic in their love of dance.
Giant Dance Party by Betsy Bird, 2013
Betsy Bird is the Youth Materials Specialist at NYPL, and I have attended her Children's Literary Salons at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building ("the library with the lions") for years. I love the illustrations, which have very clean lines, and the expressiveness on the characters faces is striking. I like how the pages about the preparation for the dance recital sport white backgrounds, while the performance pages have black backgrounds, as the theatre would be dark for dance recitals.