Alicia Alonso

Prima Ballerina

This post is part of Nonfiction Monday 
hosted today by Rasco from RIF
(pub. 9.1.2011)  32 pages 

A True Tale with A Cherry On Top

A uthor: Carmen T. Bernier-Grand
     and Illustrator:  Raul Colon

C haracter:   Alicia Alonso
O verview from the jacket flap: 

         "Alica Alonso's artistic achievements are remarkable, considering that she became partially blind and lost her peripheral vision at age nineteen.  From childhood, she exhibited a passion for dancing, studying first in Cuba and later in New York City, where she became an overnight sensation in Giselle and was promoted to principal dancer in the Ballet Theater. Returning to Cuba in 1948, she founded her own company ... In 1959, the Cuban government gave her enough money to establish a new dance school, Ballet National de Cuba, which Alonso directs to this day.
           In elegant free verse and with stunning artwork, Carmen T. Bernier-Grand and Raul Colon have captured the seminal events in Alonso's life.  Her drive to put her art above all other concerns and influences, no matter how difficult, will impress any aspiring artist."
T antalizing taste: 

     "I Still Have Time

Although Alicia
is not performing,
she is still
on center stage.
She listens
to the music,
in her mind,
to ballet masters.
How would you like
to be remembered?
'I'm telling you,'
Alicia answers.
'There is a future
ahead. Ask me
in two hundred years."

"When I live, I take advantage of the little time I have to live.
When I dance, I take advantage of the little time I have to dance."
              -Alicia Alonso
               Prima Ballerina Assoluta

and something more:   I've always thought that the cover of a picture book should not only include the names of the author and illustrator, but also the names of the editor and art director who have the vision and expertise to bring the book to fruition.

But a dedication is the next best thing. Carmen T. Bernier-Grand, author of Alicia Alonso - Prima Ballerina, dedicates the book "To Margery Cuyler, choreographer of this ballet of words."

I too am so thankful that Margery Cuyler, Publisher of Marshall Cavendish Childrens, was the editor of my book, My Hands Sing the Blues.  In that book, I recognized Margery as "editor extraordinaire." Throughout the editing process, Margery gently and expertly guided me. Her suggestions were always spot on, and showed a respect for my vision.

And, thank you to Anahid Hamparian, the art director who chose the amazing Elizabeth Zunon to illustrate My Hands Sing the Blues, and also designed the wonderful layout and chose the varied intriguing typefaces for the book.

Thank you Margery and Anahid!


Myra Garces-Bacsal from GatheringBooks said...

Hi Jeanne, my family and I just hosted a group of two break dancers and a prima ballerina from the Philippines a few days ago. The break dancers were representing the Philippines for an international competition here in SG. This review of yours reminded me of them. Will check this book out. Thanks for the recommendation. :)

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Wow! That sounds wonderful, Myra. Did you get to see the break dancers compete? I bet it was terrific. Thanks for stopping by.

jama said...

Thanks for posting about this book, Jeanne. I hadn't heard about it before. Alicia sounds like a remarkable person. I've always loved ballerinas :).

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Hi Jama, Thanks for stopping by. Alicia is quite remarkable. And I too love ballerinas (and chocolate also which I noticed you mentioned on your blog description:))