Jose! Born to Dance by Susanna Reich, illustrated by Raul Colon

Jose! Born to Dance by Susanna Reich, illustrated by Raul Colon (Simon & Schuster, 2005). Vibrantly illustrated, this picture book biography chronicles the life of Jose Limon, one of the greatest dancers of all time. It begins with his birth in Culiacan, Mexico and continues through civil war and immigration to the New York stage. Includes Historical Note and Bibliography. Ages 5-up.

My Thoughts

Jose! Born to Dance reminds me of El Chino by Allen Say (Houghton Mifflin, 1996). Both are lively, well written and illustrated picture book biographies that defy expectations and stereotypes.

Learn more about Jose Limon.

Apologies for my electronic inability to make the appropriate accent marks!

Cynsational News & Links

My husband Greg Leitich Smith‘s signing at the Barnes & Noble Round Rock (TX) was a great success. He had an enthusiastic crowd, including Austin area writers/illustrators: Chris Barton, author of The Day-Glo Brothers (Charlesbridge, 2007); Tim Crow; Frances Hill, author of The Bug Cemetery (Henry Holt, 2002); Varian Johnson, author of Red Polka Dot In A World Full Of Plaid (Genesis Press/Black Coral, 2005); April Lurie, author of Dancing In The Streets of Brooklyn (Delacorte, 2002); Mark Mitchell, author of Raising La Belle (Eakin, 2002); Nancy Jean Okunami; Sean Petrie; Don Tate, illustrator of numerous picture books; and Brian Yansky, author of My Road Trip To The Pretty Girl Capital of the World (Cricket, 2003). Greg sold out of the new paperbacks of Ninjas, Piranhas, and Galileo (Little Brown, 2003, 2005) and almost sold out (three, four stock to sign?) of Tofu and T. rex (Little Brown, 2005).

Interview with Cynthia Leitich Smith from The Marion Star (OH); focus on multicultural children’s/YA literature. (Yes, they spelled my name as Cynthis Leitich, and I believe I said 1980s for the boom; I’ve already written the Web designer with the correction).