October 22, 2017


I think it's safe to say at this point that it's fairly universally accepted that Duncan Tonatiuh can do no wrong. His latest book Danza!: Amalia Hernández and El Ballet Folklórico de México (which is both authored and illustrated by him) serves to drive that point home.

Danza! is the first-ever picture book about the famous dancer and choreographer Amalia Hernández. We learn all about Amalia's life and her history of dancing in México. Although Amalia thought she would grow up to be a teacher in a classroom, her life drastically changes one day when she sees performers dance in her town square. From that day on, Amalia sets out to learn about every kind of dance she can, from modern to ballet. When she returns home she brings her own dance company with her, touring it all over the country and eventually becoming the founder of an international sensation that still tours today.

This book showcases top-notch design from cover to cover. We have a dust jacket that's different from the case cover, the letters on the front of the book are produced in a gold foil, and the endpapers are adorable. The illustrations were hand-drawn and digitally collaged so that we never lose even a hint of texture and we can still see Tonatiuh's trademark style of rounded shapes and strong, crisp lines all over the book. Almost as though the characters are dancing across the pages, we can see the movement in his illustrations as dancers angle their bodies to perform, and though each character looks similar to the others, each has his or her own distinct characteristics. 

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