This is a fascinating read about the dancer who would someday be known as Alicia Markova. Lily Marks loves to stand on her tiptoes, but her legs are weak and crooked. Could dancing lessons help strengthen them? To everyone’s surprise, Lily proves to have a natural talent for dancing, and becomes utterly devoted to practicing. The high point of her childhood is seeing international ballet star Anna Pavlova perform, and receiving an invitation to dance for her. Now there’s no turning back; Lily commits fully to becoming a ballerina.
An endnote tells readers that Pavlova had a Jewish parent, though she never publicly acknowledged her heritage; Lily’s parents were also Jewish.
Highly stylized illustrations complement the story beautifully. Note that the Jewish content is restricted to the note at the back of the book.
Leslie Kimmelman grew up outside Philadelphia and graduated from Middlebury College in Vermont. She is the author of many children’s books, awards for which include Best Children’s Books of the Year from the Bank Street College of Education; Notable Children’s Trade Books in the Field of Social Studies; and Sydney Taylor Notable Books. Kimmelman is an editor at Sesame Workshop and lives with her family just north of New York City.