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The Barefoot Book of Ballet Stories
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Jane Yolen attended Smith College and received her master's degree in education from the University of Massachusetts. The distinguished author of more than 200 books, she is a woman of many talents. When she is not writing, Yolen composes songs, is a professional storyteller on the stage, and is the busy wife of a university professor, the mother of three grown children, and a grandmother. Heidi Stemple, Jane s daughter, has previously worked as a parole officer, private investigator and bartender. She didn t start writing until the age of 28 and hasn t stopped since. Both Jane and Heidi live in Hatfield, Massachusetts.

Rebecca Guay graduated from the prestigious Pratt Institute in New York City with a degree in illustration. She is also the illustrator of Goddesses: A World of Myth and Magic (HC: 9781841480756).

Juliet Stevenson is a stage and screen actress with many credits to her name, including Truly, Madly, Deeply; Emma; Bend It Like Beckham and Mona Lisa Smile. She was awarded the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress for her role in Death and the Maiden.

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The stories in this cross-cultural collection emphasize ecological awareness. The text-heavy pages are lightened by vivid illustrations and spot art representing the stories' cultures of origin (an Australian story is illustrated with aboriginal motifs). In keeping with the environmental message, readers are encouraged to create projects offered after each story: instructions to "Make a pinecone birdfeeder" follow a Kazakh tale about freeing captive birds. While the connection between the projects and the stories might feel tenuous, the proactive component is refreshing. Ages 4-10. (Apr.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Gr 1-6-This enchanting collection of folk tales and creation myths from different cultures encourages readers to live a more harmonious life with nature. A story from Aboriginal Australia describes how the Sun Mother created each part of the Earth from grass to trees to animals to human beings, instructing the first people to "look after the land for your children." A Nigerian tale illustrates how one woman's greed and carelessness concerning natural resources led to her disgrace. Five other selections warn readers of selfishness, exemplify nature's balance, and praise individuals who have given of themselves nobly in order to protect the environment. Well chosen and crafted with broad appeal, the tales are woven with subtle morals and wisdom. Each story is introduced by a brief overview about the featured locale and culture (source notes are appended) and followed by a related, easy-to-replicate activity or craft. Full-page and spot illustrations and colorful decorative borders reflect the spirit and origins of each offering. Done with collaged papers with acrylic and printed backgrounds, the stylized images depict colorfully clothed people, delightful animals, and delicately rendered flora. Add this handsome book to folk-tale sections and thematic collections intended to encourage children to be good stewards of our Earth.-C. J. Connor, Campbell County Public Library, Cold Spring, KY Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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