CM . . .
. Volume XVIII Number 17. . . .January 6, 2012
Pat (Lp) Camozzi has established a small advertising and communications firm, Lp Creative, which has now taken on the role of small Montreal press in publishing this book. Camozzi is the author, and his daughter, Marielle Lorraine Camozzi, has done the illustrations.
The rhyming text follows chunky Spice Kapita from infancy to late adolescence. Born to dance, (His baby jumps were right in tune/When Daddy's music filled the room), he longs to find something special in the world to inform and inspire his art. Then he finds the dance machine.
Going from the Russian steppes and its lively folk music to the land of flamenco to capoeira and kabuki, Spice ends up back in Canada. His experience has apparently prepared him to train for a career as a ballet star.
As with a lot of books written in verse, the scansion here has had to be assisted with a shoehorn. The rhyme and rhythm do drive the story, the subject of which depends a lot on a beat, but some of the resulting stanzas are awkward. The bright art has a strong line and a somewhat primitivist feel. The picture of the red and gold Tanzanian plain with elephants silhouetted against a setting sun is full of atmosphere, but the text makes no mention of masks, so young readers could be forgiven for believing that African dancers, as they are shown here, are a strange and frightening species. Other spreads, such as the one showing the audience watching Spike at the pinnacle of his ballet career, look like high school art projects.
Recommended with reservations.
Ellen Heaney is Head, Children's Services, New Westminster Public Library, New Westminster, BC.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.