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Dancing with Dziadziu
     

Dancing with Dziadziu

by Susan Campbell Bartoletti, Annika Nelson (Illustrator)
 

Gabriella loves to dance, and she loves to hear her grandmother Babci’s stories--stories about Poland, the house in the coal patch, the chickens with blue feet. And especially the stories of those happy evenings long ago when Babci danced with her handsome young husband, Dziadziu. Gabriella and her grandmother are bound together by stories, by dancing, and

Overview


Gabriella loves to dance, and she loves to hear her grandmother Babci’s stories--stories about Poland, the house in the coal patch, the chickens with blue feet. And especially the stories of those happy evenings long ago when Babci danced with her handsome young husband, Dziadziu. Gabriella and her grandmother are bound together by stories, by dancing, and by love in this poignant Easter story. “A wonderfully mature story, full of humanity.”--Kirkus Reviews

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Judy Silverman
Gabriella dances for her beloved Babci (grandmother). She's a snowflake, and Babci says she's wonderful, but Gabriella knows she isn't - she just can't melt right. Easter is coming, but Babci is too sick to wait until spring, so Gabriella's family will celebrate two months early. Babci tells Gabriella stories of life in the old country, and even if Gabriella has heard the stories hundreds of times, she always wants to hear them again. She especially loves to hear of Babci's beloved Diadziu, with whom she will "soon be dancing...again." The illustrations suggest the old country, beautifully. A wonderfully moving story, a loving look at a family celebrating Easter with a beloved grandmother for the last time.
Children's Literature - Deborah Zink Roffino
Babci was a small child when she came with her parents on a ship from Poland to the United States. Now, as she rests her old and weary body, granddaughter Gabriella listens to her memories of love and life. The poignant reminiscing offers insight into the lives of early immigrants and into the bonds of love shared by Babci and her granddaughter. The vibrant pictures, hand colored linoleum cuts, reflect the changes as the story drifts in and out of the past.
Kirkus Reviews
Young Gabriella listens to her grandmother's stories of Poland, immigrant life in America, and dancing with her handsome young husband, Dziadziu, in an enchanting, life-affirming story that's as iridescent as the glimmer between life and death.

Bartoletti (Silver at Night, 1994, etc.) works magic, writing in the voice of the granddaughter and enabling readers to share the sadness of Babci's approaching death ("I remember when my grandmother was round as a loaf of bread and my arms couldn't fit around her waist. Now Babci's fingers are cold, and the bones float inside her skin") and the joy of the premature Easter celebration the bedridden old woman has requested. There is humor in Babci's story of how her family "branded" their coal-camp free-range chickens by painting the birds' feet blue, and satisfaction in Gabriella's realization that—this time—she has performed her snowflake dance exactly right for Babci. This family is lovingly attuned to one another; Gabriella knows when Babci drifts from present to past, from talk to rest. The stiffly framed woodcut-like illustrations have none of the quicksilver quality of the text, but convey snapshops of the past, and the folkloric motifs that are obviously a part of the family's heritage. A wonderfully mature story, full of humanity.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780152006754
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
03/01/1997
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
40.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)
Lexile:
620L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

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