Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring (Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children (Awards)) Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2019-07-14 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 15 user ratings

"This story follows the quest of Martha Graham as she sets out to produce her most famous ballet, the Appalachian Spring. This dance represents a new life in America. Martha wrote the story, with it taking place in Pennsylvania during the spring as a young man and woman get married. It follows the people involved with the creation of the play and all the work that went into it. Opening night ended up being successful, and even today it is still found on stages nation-wide. The illustrations are gorgeous, and it was clear that attention to detail was a priority. There is movement and expression in each one. This book is worth reading for the illustrations alone. I instantly thought of myself when I was young, as I was fascinated with the ballet. This is a great book, especially one that young ballet dancers may find captivating, despite it being base on a true story. " said.

"A picture book history of the making of Appalachian Spring and how Martha Graham, Aaron Copeland, and Isamu Noguchi worked together to create the dance, music, and set. The book also walks readers through the basic parts of the performance.

Make sure you read this where you can easily listen to some of the music too! A great read for music history or arts appreciation. Floca's illustrations are fantastic as always and manage to convey some of the movement of the dance. I like the way it shows how collaboration works to create productions. Short biographies of Martha, Aaron and Isamu are included in the back of the book. Getting kids to sit through the entire Appalachian Spring probably won't happen but they should get sucked into reading this and then be curious enough to listen to some of the music too. Or maybe this will get them interested enough they actually would be willing to sit through the entire performance. Who knows?
" said.

"This is about the making of the famous career making ballet ‘Appalachian Spring’ by Martha Graham and music my Aaron Copland, but his career was already made. It premiered in 1944. I do like Martha Graham. This was a nice story for older audiences who are into the creative process and life. It does a good job of telling the frustrations of bringing something new to life and having to do it over and over to get it correct. The artwork in the book is great at conveying motion and dancers.

This is a great book for me, but not for the nephew. The nephew didn’t understand the point and he isn’t into this kind of ‘uncool’ dance as he calls it. We were watching this season of American Idol and that is cool dance. He gave this 1 star. The niece is interested in dance and she appreciated this. She gave it 3 stars. She was interested in the fact that Martha had to do things over and over again to get it right. We spoke about perfection and the way to achieve it is to do things over again, not one and done. I think the niece needed to hear that.
" said.

"As someone who had never even heard of the ballet "Appalachian Spring," I definitely enjoyed this book. Readers do not have to come into this with any prior knowledge of the ballet, which can make it enjoyable for any reader. The book is recommended for ages 6-10, but I think children closer to age 10 might enjoy this story more. It is a story about how the ballet was formed, and it may satisfy older children who have an interest in ballets rather than just any audience. The watercolor used throughout the book made me want to just sit and look at the pictures the whole time rather than just read the texts. The strokes that made up the ballerinas's shoes made it seem as if they were dancing on the page. The illustrations in this book fall into the category of realism. If anyone walked into an auditorium, they would see scenes similar to those depicted in the book. The illustrations are in a double page spread, leaving the illustrator plenty of space to accurately depict the scenes of the ballerinas dancing. This book would be a great book to put on a shelf in a classroom for the children to leisurely read. Teachers could learn something about the interest's of their students based on the ones that pick this book to read. " said.

" Magnificent! The double-page spread with Aaron Copeland sitting at his piano and the score in the background is a masterpiece!! " said.

" Spare text conveys the story so well. Well integrated quotes, stunning illustrations. " said.

" Done with breathtaking clarity, a masterpiece of explication of creative process in dance, music, and design, in a way that will capture young readers and hold them. Brilliant. " said.

" Audience: Grades 2-6 (girls especially)Appeal: Powerful story of an American classic, great illustrationsAwards: Nominee of Sibert Informational Book Award, Publishers Weekly Best Children's Book, NCTE Orbis Picture Award, School Library Journal Best Book of the Year " said.

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