Editorial Review

AJL Newsletter

Cover: An Unlikely Ballerina

“This long-overdue picture book biography of Alicia Markova, née Lily Marks (1910–2004), is a pleasure to behold. In clear and concise prose, the author tells the story of a talented Jewish girl born in London, England who loved to dance, overcame adversity, and eventually became a world-class ballerina. Furthermore, in Jewish liturgy, we often recite the words, ‘L’dor vador’ (from generation to generation). Lily’s story exemplifies this ideal, for she admired another (Jewish) ballerina, Anna Pavlova. The two met at Pavlova’s home outside London. There, Pavlova encouraged Lily in the pursuit of her dream: ‘You could become a fine dancer… but your life will be hard work, and you must be prepared to give up many pleasures.’ And so it was. In the Afterward, we learn that Alicia had an illustrious career and always maintained her love for Judaism. The illustrations by Japanese artist, Cosei Kawa, are truly stunning. Apparently, he sketches and then combines elements using digital tools. We are attracted to the expressive faces, muted colors, and period costumes and settings. Children will be intrigued by the tiny confetti-like drawings scattered on every page. An Unlikely Ballerina is an inspiring biography showing that passion and determination can conquer a great deal.”—Association of Jewish Libraries

Products Reviewed

An Unlikely Ballerina
  • Available in limited formats
  • Soon! Spring 2021
  • New! Fall 2020
  • New! Spring 2020

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