Thursday, September 11, 2014

Children's Book Review: Deer Dancer by Mary Lyn Ray and Lauren Stringer

Hardcover, 40 pages
Published May 6th 2014 by Beach Lane Books
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Indiebound

In this mesmerizing picture book from the author of the New York Timesbestselling Stars, a young ballerina finds dancing inspiration in the natural world.

This gorgeous picture book from celebrated author Mary Lyn Ray features luminous and evocative art from Lauren Stringer and will capture the hearts of young dancers everywhere.

There's a place I go that's
green and grass,
a place I thought that no one
until the day
a deer came.

     A young girl is dancing. She's wearing a pink tutu and purple leggings. There are bright yellow flowers in her hair. Her dance teacher said: "Hold your head as if you're wearing antlers", "Listen with your cheekbones" and "Look with the eyes in your shoulders." But the girl can't match the teacher's level of skill yet, so she goes to a place that's "green and grass" (a meadow in the woods near her home) to practice. That's where she meets the deer, who teaches her how to leap, swirl and bow gracefully. 

     Deer Dancer is a wonderful and uplifting celebration of nature - the grace and elegance of deer movement in particular. The book is bright, hopeful, elegant - all thanks to the gorgeous illustrations done in the shades of green and yellow. 

Image courtesy of

     There is something beautiful and magical in the way deer moves, whether bowing, leaping, or completely still and at rest. Deer are majestic creatures - their dance is quiet and gentle, almost otherworldly. A completely breathtaking spectacle. The girl respects the nature, admires the deer and learns from it. They dance together in harmony and mutual respect that is really joyful and inspiring. 

     Deer Dancer is a really beautiful book - both visually amazing and meaningful. As a parent, I want my daughter to grow up with appreciation for nature and respect for wildlife, and that is precisely why I will be reading this book to her often. 

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