Author(s): Birgitta Sif
From the award-winning author of "Oliver" comes a book that glows from the inside out, a book that will move you to be yourself -- and get dancing. Frances Dean loves to dance. She feels the wind and she dances. She hears singing birds and she dances. In her every waking moment, she is inspired to move. But as soon as anyone is around, Frances Dean's knees begin to tremble, butterflies start to flutter in her tummy, and she forgets how to dance. Will she ever find the courage to share her talent with others and feel free?
Sif's story, sweet but not saccharine, is written in tuneful prose, but I was even more charmed by her cleverly detailed pencil drawings. Colored digitally in rich greens, reds, browns and blues, they're simultaneously handsome and adorable.--The New York Times Book Review Sif's illustrative style places whimsical, cartoonlike figures in dreamy bucolic backgrounds painted in a muted palette of ochre and olive, peopled with figures and animals in a landscape inspired by Scandinavian folk tales. The story of Frances Dean's artistic journey from shrinking violet to exuberant dancer is sensitively told in a way that will give courage to other children who have felt shy about expressing themselves artistically.--Kirkus Reviews The text is so spare that it's more poetry than prose, and its understated presence allows the artwork to shine. The pages are filled with warm, earth-toned illustrations of adorable woodland creatures, inviting outdoor settings, and the endearing expressions of Frances Dean as she contemplates revealing what makes her so very happy. This sweet, simple book is an utterly charming reminder that giving the best parts of ourselves enriches the world around us.--School Library Journal Charming pencil illustrations, colored digitally, in a variety of double-page spreads and small vignettes, are filled with lively action. ... Children will applaud the girl's hopeful decision to act on what brings her joy.--Booklist Online In Birgitta Sif's hushed illustrations, with tiny sharp details set in soft shades of mustard, olive and mauve, we see the child poised in an arabesque atop a bench in an empty park, blissfully unwatched. ... By the final double-page illustration in this endearing book for 4- to 8-year-olds, the park is still full of birds, as usual, but now also of music and movement.--The Wall Street Journal A heartwarming story about sharing yourself with the world and never fearing what will happen, this is a must read for any child.--East Bay Express
Birgitta Sif studied art and design in the United States and worked as a children's book designer before moving to England to study illustration. Her debut picture book, "Oliver, " won Iceland's Dimmalimm Award and was endorsed by Amnesty International U.K., which stated: "It reminds us that we are all born free and equal, and we all have our own thoughts and opinions." Born in Reykjavik, Iceland, Birgitta Sif lives with her family in Sweden.