A charming children’s book about the return of traditional dancing to one Yup’ik village, Lucy’s Dance tells the story of a little girl who is determined to help her grandfather demonstrate for the people of the town the beauty and complexity of old-style dancing. Threaded through the story are accounts of Yup’ik arts such as drumming, singing, and storytelling through dance, all brought to life with beautiful, full-color illustrations.
|Publisher:||University of Alaska Press|
|Product dimensions:||8.52(w) x 10.82(h) x 0.14(d)|
|Age Range:||4 - 8 Years|
About the Author
Deb Vanasse is the author of nine books. Nancy E. Slagle is an artist who lives in Denver.
Read an Excerpt
By Deb Vanasse
University of Alaska PressCopyright © 2011 University of Alaska Press
All right reserved.
Chapter OneEvery year when the west wind blew the smell of springtime over sun-glinted snow, people along the Bering Sea coast would gather to dance.
Elders swung their dance sticks to the beat of drums. Young men crouched and leapt. Women swayed in bright qaspeqs and swishing headdresses, chanting story-songs. Guests traveled from neighboring villages, bringing gifts to honor their family and friends.
Then came outsiders with traditions of their own.
Not understanding the dances or the songs or the gifting, they convinced the people to stop.
Drums were stashed in corners and the story-songs forgotten.
After many years, Lucy's ap'a was the only one left who had swung the sticks and beat the drums. Sometimes he'd speak of the dance festivals with their drumming and singing and dancing and gifts.
"Teach me," begged Lucy. "Teach me to dance."
Ap'a shook his head. "My bones are sore and my legs are stiff." But Lucy saw the faraway look in his eyes.
"Why don't we dance again?" Lucy asked her mother. "Why don't we have a dance festival?"
"The people have forgotten how," Lucy's mother replied, plopping sticky dough in sizzling oil. The warm smell of fry bread filled the room.
But when Lucy showed her mother how Ap'a only nibbled on his bread and barely touched his tea, Lucy's mother wiped her hands and called over the CB radio.
Excerpted from Lucy's Dance by Deb Vanasse Copyright © 2011 by University of Alaska Press. Excerpted by permission of University of Alaska Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
A story by Deb Vanasse
Illustrated by Nancy E. Slagle