My Friend Maya Loves to Dance

( 1 )

Overview

A young narrator tells readers about her friend Maya, who absolutely loves to dance. In this rhyming picture book, Maya attends a lively dance class. She can’t get enough of dance: the costumes, the grand entrances, the pirouettes, the music, the final bow, and the magic of recitals. She even loves the hard work of practice. But why doesn’t her friend dance, too?
 
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Overview

A young narrator tells readers about her friend Maya, who absolutely loves to dance. In this rhyming picture book, Maya attends a lively dance class. She can’t get enough of dance: the costumes, the grand entrances, the pirouettes, the music, the final bow, and the magic of recitals. She even loves the hard work of practice. But why doesn’t her friend dance, too?
 
The pages themselves seem to dance, thanks to the charming verse of Cheryl Willis Hudson and the vibrant colors and motion of Eric Velasquez’s paintings.
 
 

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—A delightful story in which a girl, unseen until the end, tells of her friend Maya's love of dance. Whether dressed in a leotard and tutu, or a shirt and jeans, or wearing kente cloth, "Maya dances with grace/And a look of pride on her face." Full-page, fluid illustrations, rendered in oil on watercolor paper, feature a willowy, long-limbed African-American child who dances to the music of jazz, blues, rap, gospel, Bach, and reggae. When she taps "on slick wooden floors," wearing a red vest, gray pants, white gloves, and a hat, she's accompanied by four boys similarly costumed. Maya even performs at the mall for a small audience that includes the narrator, a girl in a wheelchair. The last, touching page reveals Maya and her friend smiling at readers. A simple, sweet story about music, dance, and friendship.—Mary N. Oluonye, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Kirkus Reviews
An African-American girl loves attending ballet class, tapping to jazz, singing in church and freestyling in the mall, but dancing in "kente cloth is best." That's when Maya has a "look of pride on her face"-though why, when kente is the best, she only wears it in one spread is a little mystifying. She can move to every type of music from Bach to reggae to gospel. Maya's friend, who makes two cameo appearances, narrates this poetic love note. It is all told in verse that is undistinguished and illustrated with full-page oil paintings from Velasquez that are pedestrian but colorful. Many girls may enjoy seeing the different dance outfits, while other readers may be drawn to the African-American children, both boys and girls, who fill the pages. Curiously for a book that emphasizes depictions of African-American characters, though, Maya's narrator friend is one of the few Caucasians to appear. Sharp eyes may also note some famous musicians on one double-spread. A bit of a jumble, but a pretty one. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810983281
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/1/2010
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 860,964
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Cheryl Willis Hudson is vice president and editorial director of Just Us Books, an independent publisher of black-interest books for children and young adults. She has written many books for children, and lives in New Jersey. Eric Velasquez is the illustrator of numerous picture books and a recipient of the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for new talent. He lives in Hartsdale, New York. You can learn more about him at www.ericvelasquez.com.
 

Praise for The Other Mozart

“Elegant paintings, framed in regal hues . . .” —Publishers Weekly
 
“The heart of the book is Velasquez’s original artwork.” —School Library Journal

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 27, 2010

    a charming read

    What would you do if you liked dancing more than anything else? Maya is a young African-American girl, and her friend tells us how much Maya loves to dance. Maya enjoys doing her dance exercises, practicing in her ballet classes, doing dance recitals, dressing in dance clothing, listening to dance music, and taking the final bow. But why doesn't Maya's friend who narrates the story dance too? The pages of this children's picture book seem to move with the rhyming text by author Cheryl Willis Hudson and the colorful paintings by illustrator Eric Velasquez. Youngsters who like to dance will surely appreciate the book, but it also presents a message of true friendship as Maya and her friend share the magic of dance as each can experience it. Maya Loves to Dance is a charming read.

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