Cover image for Firebird : ballerina Misty Copeland shows a young girl how to dance like the firebird
Title:
Firebird : ballerina Misty Copeland shows a young girl how to dance like the firebird
Author:
Copeland, Misty.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA), [2014]
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 x 29 cm
Summary:
American Ballet Theater soloist Misty Copeland encourages a young ballet student, with brown skin like her own, by telling her that she, too, had to learn basic steps and how to be graceful when she was starting out, and that some day, with practice and dedication, the little girl will become a firebird, too. Includes author's note about dancers who led her to find her voice.
Language:
English
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780399166150
Format :
Book

Available:*

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On Order

Summary

Summary

In her debut picture book, Misty Copeland tells the story of a young girl--an every girl--whose confidence is fragile and who is questioning her own ability to reach the heights that Misty has reached. Misty encourages this young girl's faith in herself and shows her exactly how, through hard work and dedication, she too can become Firebird.

Lyrical and affecting text paired with bold, striking illustrations that are some of Caldecott Honoree Christopher Myers's best work, makes Firebird perfect for aspiring ballerinas everywhere.


Author Notes

Misty Copeland didn't take up ballet until age 13, but by age 17, she was a professional. She was appointed ABT soloist at age 24, their first African American soloist in two decades. Driven by her newfound passion for the art, which she discovered at her local Boys & Girls Club, Misty accomplished so much in such a short amount of time through good old-fashioned hard work, discipline and unwavering belief in herself.

Christopher Myers is the award-winning author and illustrator of Caldecott Honoree Harlem and Coretta Scott King Honorees Black Cat and Horse. Myers has also won three Boston Globe-Horn Book Honors and a New York Times Best Illustrated Award.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

This vibrant picture book creates a conversation between two African American dancers, a girl who aspires to become a ballerina and American Ballet Theatre soloist Misty Copeland. Keenly aware of her shortcomings as a dancer, the girl admires Copeland, saying, you are the sky and clouds and air / your feet are swift as sunlight, while describing herself in these words: Me? I'm gray as rain / heavy as naptime, low as a storm pressing on rooftops. Copeland answers by looking back to her own beginnings as a girl learning her craft during countless hard, sweaty hours of practice. Throughout the poetic text, she offers encouragement and inspiration to the aspiring ballerina. Myers contributes a series of dynamic illustrations. Combining painted, printed, and photographed elements, these collages make fine use of color and texture. In an author's note, Copeland comments on her discovery of ballet, her appreciation of the women who mentored her, and her hope of empowering others to feel that they can achieve their goals. An inspirational picture book for children daunted by the gap between their dream and their reality. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Copeland's adult memoir, Life in Motion (2014), has become a New York Times best-seller, so there will be built-in interest for her children's book debut.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2010 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Copeland is the only black dancer presently performing as a soloist with the American Ballet Theater. Her childhood in poverty and the fact that she didn't take up ballet until she was 13 make her acutely aware of the way fame and achievement can seem distant to children whose parents can't offer them support. "Darling child," she writes, "don't you know/ you're just where I started." Scenes of an older dancer guiding a young student ("you will soar/ become a swan, a beauty, a firebird for sure") reinforce the feeling that Copeland is speaking directly to readers, providing young dancers with guidance and a sense of what is possible: "I was a dancer just like you/ a dreaming shooting star of a girl/ with work and worlds ahead." Myers (H.O.R.S.E.) paints portrait after portrait of Copeland dancing, placing the images against collages of colored paper whose curves, sunbursts, and radiating rays echo the rhythms of the dancers' movements. While the book's "Firebird" references are not explained (the Prokofiev ballet is Copeland's signature role), it doesn't keep the book from making a strong impact. Ages 5-8. Author's agent: Steve Troha, Folio Literary Management. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-6-A poetic dialogue between an aspiring young dancer and the American Ballet Theater's soloist comprises the text of this stunning picture book. Copeland provides words of encouragement to boost the dreams of an African American girl whose desire to be a ballerina is hampered by her low self-image and lack of confidence. "I was a dancer just like you," Misty tells her, "a dreaming shooting star of a girl/with work and worlds ahead." Copeland's title role in Stravinsky's The Firebird serves as the theme for Myers's signature paint and collage illustrations, which feature full spreads bursting with color and excitement. Elongated forms and slanted geometric shapes are infused with a color palette of browns, yellows, and fiery reds contrasted with cool blues, purples, and splashes of white. Scenes of dynamic action and quiet serenity work together to move the narrative forward, leaving readers with a sense of hope for the future of the young dancer. The author includes a note that discusses her own struggle and need for affirmation, acknowledging those who helped her along the way. A very successful collaboration, appealing to all and particularly valuable to collections on the performing arts.-Marie Orlando, formerly at Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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