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Full-color photos and lively text introduce a sport that "combines dance, music, and acrobatics with fighting techniques." Action-packed pictures of capoeiristas-people who play capoeira-in both the United States and Brazil make this an eye-catching title. Ancona explains the basics of the game before delving into its history, helping readers with no background on the subject gain an understanding of the art before putting it into context. His discussion of the beginnings of capoeira, which was developed primarily by African slaves brought to Brazil. Short biographies of the two founders of the sport's most common modern schools are presented before returning to modern photographs that show some of the differences in styles of play. The participants represent a wide range of ages and ethnicities, reflecting the game's multicultural heritage. A glossary offers pronunciations and definitions for Portuguese words, which are also defined in the narrative. An excellent purchase for libraries that serve Brazilian populations or communities in which martial arts are popular.
—Alana AbbottCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Posted December 31, 2007
In Capoeira: Game! Dance! Martial Art!, George Ancona tells the story of Capoeira by following a classroom of students at the Mandiga Academy in Oakland, California. Kids reading the book are sure to get a kick out of the Portuguese nicknames of the students in the classroom from Reizinho (little king), to Perereca (tree frog), to Princesa (princess) to the name of the instructor, Malandro (scoundrel). In fact, Ancona uses a number of Portuguese words throughout the book when talking about Capoeira. He even includes a glossary with a pronunciation key in the back of the book for kids who want to practice speaking the words. Through pictures and Ancona's detailed descriptions these students teach different moves and techniques as well as names of traditional musical instruments used to play music during Capoeira games. Ancona also takes us to Brazil and shows the impact of Capoeira on the Brazilian culture today. From the slums and beaches to actual Capoeira academies, we see vibrant photographs of kids of all ages and walks of life practicing this amazing art. A few years ago, I spent four months teaching English in Brazil and was fortunate enough to see Capoeira being played on the streets. While nothing can compare to seeing it in person, Ancona's book gives us a vivid picture and interesting history of the art.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.