Aunt Elaine Does the Dance from Spain

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In frenetic verse, a terpsichorean relative introduces her niece to the glamour of performance; PW commented that ``Mathers's characteristically bold, zany... illustrations adroitly expand on the action.'' Ages 4-8. (Aug.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-- Katy is thrilled to accompany her Aunt Elaine to the theater for the first time to watch her dance. She meets the other dancers and watches her aunt put on her make-up and dress for the performance. When the child gets lost backstage and tumbles into a closet full of costumes, she comes out dressed like a Spanish dancer herself. The company invites Katy out on stage with them to discover the magic of the dance. A glossary of the Spanish words and phrases (and the one Yiddish phrase) used in the book are provided before the story begins. The exuberant watercolor and ink illustrations, saturated with color, are well balanced by the white space surrounding the text, and the slim borders of red roses, like those Elaine wears in her hair, tie the text and the illustrations together nicely. Mathers has done a splendid job of conveying Katy's parents' drab air of responsibility in contrast to Aunt Elaine's free spirit. However, Komaiko's stilted, forced verse is disappointing and meager by comparison. For wonderful picture books on dancing, stick to Patricia McKissack's sparkling Mirandy and Brother Wind (Knopf, 1988), illustrated by Jerry Pinkney, or James Marshall's hilarious The Cut-Ups Carry On (Viking, 1990). Amy Hest's Fancy Aunt Jess (Morrow, 1990), illustrated by Amy Schwartz, or Just Us Women by Jeannette Caines (Harper, 1982), illustrated by Pat Cummings, are better stories about aunts. --Sharon Grover, Arlington County Department of Libraries, VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440409755
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 7/1/1994
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years

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