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February 15, 2018 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Arts Books for Youth
Showcasing dancers and painters, singers and a puppeteer, these books on creativity at work—all of which received starred reviews in the past year in Booklist—are sure to get the right side of the brain chugging.
Alicia Alonso: Prima Ballerina. By Carmen T. Bernier-Grand. Illus. by Raul Colón. 2011. Marshall Cavendish, $19.99 (9780761455622). Gr. 5–8.
A sequence of free-verse poems distills a lifetime of events and emotions for this significant figure in ballet, who overcame partial blindness to dance again.
The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse. By Eric Carle. Illus. by the author. 2011. Philomel, $17.99 (9780399257131). PreS–Gr. 2.
Inspired by the work of expressionist painter Franz Marc, Carle’s images of a blue horse, crimson alligator, and green lion offer a whimsical primer on color, form, and style.
Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade. By Melissa Sweet. Illus. by the author. 2011. Houghton, $16.99 (9780547199450). K–Gr. 2.
This picture book introduces Tony Sarg, a master of marionettes, who created the part-balloon, part-puppet creatures that thrill audiences at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Drawing from Memory. By Allen Say. Illus. by the author. 2011. Scholastic, $17.99 (9780545176866). Gr. 4–7.
Say’s scrapbooklike journey through his formative years, during which he honed his skills as a young artist in Japan, is both culturally and personally resonant.
Fabulous! A Portrait of Andy Warhol. By Bonnie Christensen. Illus. by the author. 2011. Holt/Christy Ottaviano, $16.99 (9780805087536). Gr. 3–6.
Capturing her larger-than-life subject in just a few words and striking collage illustrations, Christensen gets readers to care about the boy destined for glamour.
The House Baba Built: An Artist’s Childhood in China. By Ed Young and Libby Koponen. Illus. by Ed Young. 2011. Little, Brown, $17.99 (9780316076289). Gr. 3–5.
This portrait of Young as a boy artist juxtaposes drawings, photos, and cut papers to suggest the sharp yet patchy quality of memory.
Janis Joplin: Rise Up Singing. By Ann Angel. 2010. illus. Abrams/Amulet, $19.95 (9780810983496). Gr. 9–12.
A balanced approach that combines a reporter’s evenhandedness with a fan’s full-hearted zeal helps provide nuance to this biography of the groundbreaking musician.
Lola’s Fandango. By Anna Witte. Illus. by Micha Archer. 2011. Barefoot, $16.99 (9781846861741). K–Gr. 3.
Lola is jealous of her pretty, artistically talented older sister, until she finds Mami’s flamenco shoes and discovers the joys of dancing.
Odetta: The Queen of Folk. By Stephen Alcorn and Samantha Thornhill. Illus. by Stephen Alcorn. 2010. Scholastic, $17.99 (9780439928182). Gr. 2–4.
This elegant ode to the folk pioneer and social activist intertwines the singer’s life story with the inspirations for her music, all pictured in quilted, dynamic paintings.
Roots and Blues: A Celebration. By Arnold Adoff. Illus. by R. Gregory Christie. 2011. Clarion, $17.99 (9780547235547). Gr. 4–8.
Nothing less than a sensory history of the blues, this collection of poems and prose vignettes celebrates the hardships and triumphs that give the music its rhythm and soul.
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