Monday, October 25, 2010

To Dance: A Ballerina's Graphic Novel

Long before all the reality TV shows, dance has been attractive to people as an event, a way to celebrate, and an artistic endeavor. All three of these aspects come through in To Dance, an autobiographical story. Beginning at an early age, Siena was drawn to dance. She took lessons as a young girl and kept at it until she was accepted to the New York City Ballet under George Balanchine. During her time there, she got to thrill to brilliant performances and see famous dancers, including Mikhail Baryshnikov.

The joy and dedication really comes through in Siena Cherson Siegel's story. This interview explains some of the reasons she wanted to tell it. The expressive and evocative art was done by her husband, Mark Siegel, a graphic novelist and children's book author who is also the editorial director of First Second, one of the most acclaimed graphic novel imprints in the US. This short interview lends a little insight into his life and work.

To Dance was a well received book, as evidenced by this list of four star reviews from some notable journals. It was among the American Library Association's Notable Books of 2007 and was also a Robert F. Sibert Honor Book. It is also exceptional as one of the relatively few graphic novels pitched at girl readers.

A preview is available from the book's publisher Simon & Schuster.

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