Dance: Hispanic Heritage

These books celebrate all kinds of dances from Latin America, as well as the traditions and family celebrations connected to them and the dancers who bring them to life.

Alicia Alonso: Prima Ballerina

Illustrated by: Raúl Colón
Age Level: 9-12

"Similar in form and concept to many of Bernier-Grand's previous books, this beautiful volume offers a biographical account of ballerina Alicia Alonso through a sequence of free-verse poems, extensive background notes, and large-scale illustrations. Beginning with Alonso's childhood in Cuba, the book relates how she moved to New York in 1937 and overcame partial blindness to dance again, winning worldwide renown." — Booklist

Amelia's Show-and-Tell Fiesta

Illustrated by: Gail Ablow
Age Level: 6-9

Amelia is excited for show and tell at her new American school, and she knows just the thing to bring — her special fiesta dress! When she gets to school wearing the dress, however, she realizes that she has misunderstood the assignment. Yet just as she is about to give up on show and tell, she feels her skirts begin to sway and she remembers the joy of twirling in Cuba's tropical breezes and dancing during Carnival. This gentle story is brought to life with appealing, colorful illustrations by Mexican artist Martha Avilés.

Capoeira: Game! Dance! Martial Art!

Age Level: 6-9

A trip to Brazil inspired this look at a unique sport called "capoeira." The result is a compelling journey into capoeira's history and its popularity around the world. The book begins with students at an academy in Oakland, California. Well-placed and -paced, full-color photographs chronicle this amazing activity.

Danza!: Amalia Hernández and El Ballet Folklórico de México

Age Level: 6-9

Danza! is a celebration of Hernández’s life and of the rich history of dance in Mexico. As a child, Amalia always thought she would grow up to be a teacher, until she saw a performance of dancers in her town square. She was fascinated by the way the dancers twirled and swayed, and she knew that someday she would be a dancer, too. She began to study many different types of dance, including ballet and modern, under some of the best teachers in the world. Hernández traveled throughout Mexico studying and learning regional dances.

Estela's Swap

Illustrated by: Enrique Sanchez
Age Level: 3-6

Product Description: Estela is attending her first swap meet, where she plans to sell a music box to make money for lessons with the Ballet Folklórico. When a strong wind ruins the flowers the woman across from her is selling, Estela decides to give her the music box so she can listen to cheerful music while she makes new flowers. Although Estela may not have enough money for the lessons, her heart is full. And in this charmingly illustrated story, the flower seller has a wonderful surprise for Estela.

José! Born to Dance: The Story of José Limón

Illustrated by: Raúl Colón
Age Level: 6-9

Born in 1908, in a small Mexican village, José Limón seemed destined to become an artist rather than a world-famous dancer. The lyrical language incorporates onomatopoeic and Spanish words. The distinctive illustrations with swirling colors reveal the life of a great modern dancer and choreographer.

Mama Does the Mambo

Illustrated by: Edel Rodriguez
Age Level: 6-9

"'After Papa died, Mama stopped dancing,' opens this affecting tale narrated by a Cuban child who misses the evenings of the past…Now men line up in the courtyard in hopes of becoming Mama's dance partner, but "her heart is not in it.

The Skirt

By: Gary Soto
Age Level: 9-12

"Miata Ramirez has a problem that will strike a chord with many children: she forgets things. This particular Friday afternoon, she has left her folklórico skirt on the school bus, and she is supposed to dance in it on Sunday. She sees no alternative but to break into the bus and retrieve it. So, dragging along her shy friend, Ana, that is exactly what she does." — School Library Journal

Under the Mambo Moon

Illustrated by: Fabricio Vanden Broeck
Age Level: 9-12

Product Description: On summer nights Marisol helps out in Papi's music store. As customers come and go, they share memories of the Latin music and dance of their various homelands, expressed in a dazzling array of poetry. The diversity of Latin American music is brought to life in poems that swivel, sway, and sizzle with the rhythms of merengüe, vallenatos, salsa, and samba. Back matter includes a map, author's note, and further information about the musical heritage of Latin America.

¡Olé! Flamenco

Age Level: 6-9

The rich history of the dance known as flamenco is explored in crisp text and dynamic photographs. Readers then learn more about specific aspects of flamenco when introduced to a young dancer named Janira Cordova. Ancona's affection for his subject — people as well as the art form — is evident throughout this informative book.