Miranda, a young Hispanic-American girl dances with grace and enthusiasm everywhere she can. Soon she must dance in front of hundreds of people, including the mayor, to celebrate Children's Day. One day Miranda is upset after overhearing her mother talking to her dance instructor about how her mother's poliomyelitis prevented her from dancing as a girl. Miranda must overcome her sorrow in order to rehearse and dance successfully on that special day. The text appears in both Spanish and English on each page. The artist uses a rich, warm palette to echo the closeness between mother and daughter. The story provides an empathetic view of a physical handicap and how one person's gift can enrich others. 2001, Arte Público Press/Piñata Books, $14.95. Ages 8 to 12. Reviewer: Adjoa J. Burrowes
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-Miranda is a gifted dancer. She dances everywhere, with or without music, across grass and blacktop, while feeding the cat and during her dance classes. There is one place where she has not danced, and that is on the stage. Now that she is about to do so for the first time, in the starring role, Miranda hears her mother telling her instructor how proud she is of her daughter. It seems that her mother had polio as a child and wore heavy leg braces until she was a teen. Miranda is shocked and saddened by this revelation, and her feelings cause her to flub the rehearsal. Only a talk with her mother about the great joy the latter receives from watching her daughter restores her former exuberant excellence. This predictable story is told in a slightly saccharine manner. The illustrations in bright, clear colors are a combination of slick Barbie coloring book and interesting perspectives, dramatic lighting, and primitive forms. For a more contemplative, less message-driven approach to the joy of dance, Fred Burstein's The Dancer/La bailarina (S & S, 1993; o.p.) provides an option. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.