CM . . .
. Volume XX Number 35. . . .May 9, 2014
Ballet, another nonfiction book in the “Let’s Dance” series, is also designed to promote active living as well as the love of ballet! The content offers a thorough overview of ballet dancing for both the beginning dancer and the beginning reader. It captures the specifics of what to wear and where to dance, as well as sections on warming up, learning moves, staying healthy and dancing facts.
Once again, the table of contents page in this series provides a great list of subheadings, but they are not useful to locate information in the body of the text as the titles listed are different from the subheadings used. For example, in the table of contents, page 4 is linked to “Getting Ready” and the text on page 4 reads (with no heading) – “I love ballet dancing. I am going to dance today.” Once again, readers will need to make this connection on their own, and I caution using this book to teach the table of contents text feature.
In a style similar to Break Dancing, the words and photos are rich and vibrant with colour. The real photos capture the life of a ballet studio and performances on stage. The font is big and bold – white on pink which is clean and crisp to read. This decision creates a beautiful set up to locate word boundaries and to isolate letters which allows for an opportunity to conduct an emergent literacy assessment task during a read. The representation of the diversity of dancers isn’t as strong as in Break Dancing. It would be nice to see more boys, ages and body types.
The AV˛ web link provides video extensions to the paper text. The videos are sweet as they show young students being interviewed and what certain classes look like. Both sources of information, the book and the web link, provide information for exploration into the world of ballet. Additionally, the last pages of the book are especially informative as the ballet facts provided are very detailed. Once again, for students who love the dance of ballet and want to learn a bit more, or for students who want to be inspired to explore it for the first time, Ballet may be the nudge they are looking for!
Carrie Subtelny is a literacy consultant, instructor and tutor in Winnipeg, MB.
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