When I first saw the cover of Frances Dean Who Loved to Dance and Dance by Birgitta Sif, I knew it was a picture book I wanted to get my hands on. And when I finally did, I wasn't disappointed. The cover, which I loved from the start, doesn't even do justice to the illustrations inside. Created in muted tones with pencil and digital coloring, they are truly gorgeous!
Dedicated "to all those who live with all their heart," Frances Dean Who Loved to Dance and Dance is a child's journey of overcoming inhibitions to be herself and do what she loves, no matter who might be watching.
Frances Dean loves to dance. In fact, she loves to dance AND dance (as the title of the book implies.) She especially loves to dance outside, where she can feel the wind and hear the birds around her -- as long as no one is watching, that is. But with the help of her animal friends and another little girl with a big talent, Frances slowly but surely overcomes her self-consciousness. In fact, by the end of the book, she loves to dance and dance AND dance in front of everyone!
Overcoming inhibitions to pursue your passion is an important life lesson, and one that often takes years to learn. I still remember when I was in college, covering up my computer screen any time someone came in the room, for fear that he or she might read what I was writing. Now, many years later, I'm willing to show my writing to just about anyone, eager for feedback and comfortable with criticism. But boy did it take a long time.
Little Frances Dean, having already overcome similar fears, is well on her way to a happy and healthy life. Although Frances Dean's passion is dance, her story is universal and could be applied to other passions such as music, art, and sports. I hope she can inspire lots of other little girls and boys to follow in her footsteps!
I'm giving away a copy of Frances Dean Who Loved to Dance and Dance! Simply leave a comment on this post to enter. Feel free to share your passion, or share a story about overcoming your inhibitions, in your comment. The giveaway closes at 11:59 pm EST on Wednesday, September 24, 2014.
You can learn more about author/illustrator Birgitta Sif at http://www.birgittasif.com or in a recent interview at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. And finally, thanks to Random House for sending me a review copy of this book. I ended up buying my own copy as well, so receiving the review copy allowed me to host this giveaway.