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KAREN KAIN: BORN TO DANCE

Meguido Zola.

Toronto, Grolier, c1983.
(Picture-Life series).
48pp, paperbound boards, $6.95.
ISBN 0-7172-1834-1 (library binding), 0-7172-1839-2 (trade binding).


Grades 2 and up.
Reviewed by Eunice C. Wesley.

Volume 11 Number 5.
1983 September.


As befits a volume in Grolierís Picture-Life series, fully half of Karen Kain is comprised of black-and-white photographs of Kain in private life and in various roles. Within this brief (forty-eight page) format, Zola attempts to illuminate the important events in Kain's life and to give a glimpse of what it is like to be a ballerina, stressing the physical, mental, and emotional effort and skill that ballet demands. The sacrifices demanded and the problems faced by Kain are described as well as her triumphs. The only weakness is one imposed by the format; the reader is left desiring more details.

What raises this book above many biographies for younger readers are the excerpts from a diary Kain kept in grade 3 and the frequent quotes that balance the text. Both techniques give added dimension to Karen Kain as a person as well as the media personality with whom we are familiar. The index will aid young researchers.

Karen Kain is highly recommended for elementary school libraries as a companion to Kain andAugustyn (C. Darling, Macmillan, 1977), which focuses more on the roles she has danced and is aimed at an older audience.


Eunice C. Wesley, Bessborough P. S., Toronto, ON.
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