It is rare to find a book about ballroom dancing for children, but that is exactly what Carla and Leo’s World of Dance by Agatha Relota delivers. This book is a guide to ballroom dancing that also explains about the places where the dances come from and how, in a very special way, that dance and music bring different cultures together. Throughout the book, the wonderful world of ballroom dance is told through the eyes of two eager students taking in the magic of the waltz, fox trot, swing, merengue, mambo, cha-cha, rumba, salsa, tango and samba.
The accompanying illustrations by Thierry Perez are very charming and are reminiscent of fashion sketches. I really appreciate the diverse color palette and the varied line strokes used to enliven the images. The illustrations really embody the unique quality of each dance style! As the children learn each dance style, we discover great cultural tips, music, history and art associated with each style. We are also taught the emotional quality of each dance, various language cues and descriptions of rhythmic timing and how the steps fall within the music.
What I really enjoyed was how to the two lead characters worked together for a bigger purpose than just their relationship. I love that it shows kids willing to try something new and wanting to learn, even when it is not something that everyone else is doing. Through positive affirmations, clear explanations and fantastic details, I too felt I could learn these dances and how much fun it would be!
Three cheers for a well written and beautifully illustrated journey into the world of ballroom dance. I am sure this should be on the book shelf of every boy and girl who is determined to learn and explore.
Full Disclosure: The author provided me with a copy of Carla and Leo’s World of Dance. All opinions expressed are my own.