Monday, September 2, 2013

Dancers of the World by Aurelia Hardy

All of us parents and caregivers have world views we'd like to pass on to the children in our lives, and books are a wonderful way to bridge the gap. One I'd like to pass along to my own kids is a global view of cultures--there are so many places I'd love to travel, show, and share alongside my children. People of the world and their customs are something I love to learn about myself; celebrate, and honor when the opportunity arises. This sturdy book, that I first picked up for my ballet-loving daughter, has truly been shared between her and I. 

Dancers of the World by Aurelia Hardy is a large, hardcover book with beautiful illustrations, and flaps that depict dancers from five different continents, and it has done a wonderful job of showing a global view of something my daughter is herself interested in. We've read about one dancer per day, and that has been a great introduction to the specific type of dance, and the country of origin. 

This book has been labeled non-fiction because although each dancing girl has a small storyline, there is no plot, and the purpose is to learn about different dances all over the world. I particularly love the illustrations because although they show the girls themselves as a bit too barbie-esque for my taste, they truly infer - by color palette, tone, and the use of the flaps - what the country, climate, and custom each dancer is a part of. 

I hope this author and illustrator team up again for a series in this cultural vein. This book is a great example of 'secret learning', when it's so fun to engage the topic, kids don't even know they're learning. My daughter has not forgot to bring it to me every day for another section to read, and has taken it to bed with her almost every evening since it's been in our home. 

For the child who loves to move their body, this book is worth exploring and perhaps investigating further-with music selections, you tube videos, and an in-home dance party! 

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