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Footwork: The Story of Fred and Adele Astaireby Roxane Orgill
Synopses & Reviews
Follow the footsteps of two persevering siblings who danced their way into a cherished place in the spotlight.
In 1905, four-and-a-half-year-old Fred Astaire put on his first pair of dancing shoes — and from that moment, his life was filled with singing, dancing, and fancy footwork. Freds older sister, Adele, was the real dancer, but Fred worked hard to get all the steps just right, and it wasnt long before he was the one capturing headlines and stealing the show. In this fascinating story of child stars who hoof their way to knockout success on Broadway and beyond, Roxane Orgill and Stéphane Jorisch team up for a bravura performance, capturing the sophistication, fluidity, and grace of two of the biggest names in dance history.
"The uninitiated might be surprised to see a name other than Ginger's alongside Fred Astaire's, but as Orgill's (Go-Go Baby!) detailed text recounts, Fred spent almost the first three decades of his career paired with his older sister, Adele, his 'one true friend.' A lengthy, briskly moving narrative chronicles the siblings' bumpy rise to stardom, from a New York City dance school to the vaudeville circuit to Broadway. The author gives equal billing to the performing duo's successes and setbacks ('Once they shared a program with a group of seals who did tricks'), and she maintains a level, steady-as-she-goes tone. Jorisch's (I Remember Miss Perry) winning, Art Deco — flavored ink-and-watercolor illustrations, on the other hand, share in some of the Astaires' eventual glamour and verve as the artist eloquently conjures early-20th-century stage life. Fluid, willowy lines depict festooned dancing frocks, packed performance halls and even an impromptu dance-off with Bojangles in a back alley. Readers glimpse Fred and Adele crying in a dressing room, and, much later, looking out over a standing ovation. In one notable spread Fred, outfitted in mauve, and Adele, in powder blue, execute twists and turns with flair in four vignettes against an olive-brown backdrop resembling a heavy stage curtain. Informative, with spry visuals, the story projects an element of sophistication with the deep wine-red hues that inhabit most scenes and the title's font, which recalls that of the New Yorker. A class act. Ages 6-10." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
In this fascinating story of child stars who have hoofed their way to knockout success on Broadway and beyond, Orgill and Jorisch team up for a this picture-book biography of dance legend Fred Astaire and his older sister, Adele. Full color.
About the Author
Roxane Orgill is an award-winning writer whose music reviews and articles have appeared in the WALL STREET JOURNAL, the NEW YORK TIMES, and BILLBOARD. She lives in Hoboken, New Jersey.
Stéphane Jorisch has illustrated many books for children, including Lewis Carrolls JABBERWOCKY, ANANCY AND THE HAUNTED HOUSE: AN ORIGINAL STORY, and I REMEMBER MISS PERRY. He lives in Montréal.
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