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“I really liked this one. We follow young Siena from her first taste of dance, we watch her become passionate, and see her begin to succeed as a dancer. As a teen with her parents struggling, dance is an outlet and a safe haven. The illustrations are fluid and graceful - to be honest, sometimes I...”see full review » see other reviews »
“To Dance: A Ballerina's Graphic Novel, by Siena Cherson Siegel, is a Robert F. Sibert Honor Book of 2007, an award given for distinguished informational books. It is an autobiography of the author's life, rising from flat-footed girl to professional ballerina who worked with some of the finest artists in the world. The book was especially enjoyable since I danced as a young girl and took my daughter to many, many dance classes (she is now a dance major in college). Siegel's book captured many special moments in the lives of dancers, but what I particularly liked is her ability to describe how dancing made her feel, like how she felt when she got her first toe (pointe) shoes. This heavily-illustrated novel displays the artwork of her husband, Mark Siegel. Their pairing of talents has made this a pleasurable read and a feast for the eyes. As a former dancer, I appreciate how accurate his pictures are; I'm sure his ballerina wife would have nothing less. I am familiar with every name she dropped throughout the text, which I believe gave me a deeper level of appreciation for the story, but even non-dance readers will enjoy this book. It might even inspire them to attend a real ballet or order one on Netflix. I love Siegel's last line of text: "Dancing fills a space in me." It fills a space in me, too.
Genre: Graphic Novel
Levels: Grade Level Equivalent - n/a; Guided Reading Level - n/a; DRA - n/a; Interest level - Grade 6; Lexile GN610L; Accelerated Reader - 3.8.”
“I thought it was a beautiful book both the story and the images that told the story of a little girl who had dreams of becoming a ballerina. Originally from Puerto Rico she moved to the United States to go to Ballet School. She is inspired by these beautiful performances by these amazing dancers. After years of dedication and performances she decides to move on a go to college but she eventually finds her way back to the dancing she loves. The book shares the author's real life experiences during the 70s and 80s and includes real events in ballet during that time period. ”E. Esqueda wrote this review Thursday, November 21, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“very short”Paige B wrote this review Saturday, November 2, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
““To Dance-a Ballerina’s Graphic Novel” by Siena Cherson Siegel; Published by Aladdin Paperbacks (an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division); New York; Copyright 2006
Honors Received: A Sibert Honor (2007)
Appropriate Grade Levels: from fourth grade to fifth grade
Summary: The novel follows the life of an aspiring girl who wants to be a Russian ballerina. Siena travels from her hometown, Puerto Rico, at a young age to Boston and to New York City, where she stays and masters the barre and other dance routines as she works towards the top. Despite challenges of her parent’s divorce and breaking her ankle, Siena prevails and dances her final dance before heading to college.
Review: This is a wonderful way for children to enjoy autobiographies, for the pictures tell the story (more than the words necessarily). I would recommend this book to older grade because of the length of the book (very long and separated into chapters) and some of the content is specifically geared toward older females (talks about breasts developing and having boyfriends)
Uses in the classroom:
-can use to encourage children to pursue their hobbies, no matter the challenge they face. Expand by having children create a presentation on something they have done since they were little (just like Siena as a girl)
-have children realize rhythmic movement is found everywhere (book mentions football as an example) by having children exercise different actions (walking, running, skipping, etc.)
“Wondering if one day my dream is to be a dancer! Life in the big cities, what a big accomplishment!”7 Kaori wrote this review Friday, May 10, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Beautiful story of a little girl who loved to dance and who dreamt of becoming a ballerina.”Cecile wrote this review Thursday, May 2, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“In this book is a girl who like to dance but the doctor say she can't! One day she saw a dance from professional people and after this dance she started to dance too because she really liked it. A few month later the girl moved with her family but at the sommer holidays the family and she went to new York because there they visit a professional dance school where the girl can go. A few month later she and her family lived in New york and every day she went to the professional dance school. A few years later she was really good dancing but will she still do dance?
I like this book because I like to read about dancers! ”
“To dance by Siena Siegel is a memoir of her life growing up with ballet. She was born in Puerto Rico but spent much of her life in New York attending various dance academies, and the book follows her through these years.”Courtney B wrote this review Saturday, March 2, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“To Dance is a memoir by ballet dancer Siena Cherson Siegel. In a graphic-novel format, Siegel tells and shows readers about growing up wanting to be a dancer, her experiences in balley school, and how she practiced and worked her way to her dreams. Topics: memoirs, following dreams, ballet/dancing. Ages 7-11”Elizabeth McDonald wrote this review Monday, December 3, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
This book is about Siena's dream to become a ballerina. She takes us in depth into her dreams about dancing in so many places around the world. Her dreams are very detailed and her love for ballet is evident throughout. The pictures are very pink and pretty and their is a pink ribbon running throughout the book as well. This book was sweet and easy to read with nice pictures, but it didn't pull me in. It is cute to keep on the shelves but I believe that my library will survive without it. It is a good way to get students to think in depth about something that they feel very passionately about.”