Wednesday, August 7, 2013

When Stravinsky Met Nijinsky

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday is hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy and The Nonfiction Detectives. Every Wednesday, I'll review non-fiction picture book. (It may not always be a picture book. Be sure to visit Kid Lit Frenzy and see what other non-fiction books are shared this week!

Title: When Stravinsky Met Nijinsky 
Author: Lauren Stringer  
Illustrator: Lauren Stringer 
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books 
Publication Date: March, 2013 
Genre/Format: Non-Fiction/Picture Book  
GoodReads Summary: The Russian artists Igor Stravinsky and Vaslav Nijinsky were popular in their time: Stravinsky for music, Nijinsky for dance. When their radically new ballet, The Rite of Spring, was first performed in Paris on May 29, 1913, the reaction was so polarized, there were fistfights and riots! Brilliant or disastrous, the performance marked the birth of modern music and dance. Stringer’s rhythmic text and gloriously inventive, color-rich paintings capture the wild and imaginative collaboration of composer and choreographer. The fascinating author note includes photos of the dynamic duo and The Rite of Spring dancers. 
What I Think: Music and movement are so important and play a part in cultures around the world. It's so interesting to think about how music and dance has evolved over time. Lauren Stringer brings two historical figures to life and shows how they influenced each other to impact both music and dance. There seem to be so many stories about one person doing something differently and paving the way (which are important to share) but I love that this story focuses on two men who inspired each other and together made an impact on music and dance. When I think about teaching, I think about how collaborative we need to ask our students to be and how we need to support that collaboration. In the last year, looking closely at personalities has made me so much more conscious of how people collaborate differently and how we need to communicate in order to be able to collaborate. This book seems like it would be a great way to show and celebrate collaboration and then have a discussion about how we might collaborate with others in and out of our classrooms. 
     I'm not very familiar with dance and different types of dance, but the artwork in this book really brings dance to life. I wanted to get up and wiggle and move with the dancers in the book because of how much energy the drawings exude. This would be a great interactive text for kids to practice acting and dancing like the dancers in the book.  
Read Together: Grades 1 - 6  
Read Alone: Grades 1 - 6 
Read With: Tito Puente, Mambo King and Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People by Monica Brown, Jimi: Sounds Like a Rainbow by Gary Golio, Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle, Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown
Snatch of Text:  
"Stravinsky inspired Nijinsky,
Nijinsky inspired Stravinsky.

Together they decided to dream of something different and new."
Reading Strategies to Practice: Activating Background Knowledge, Making Connections, Visualizing 
Writing Strategies to Practice: Personal Narrative, Alliteration, Simile, Metaphor, Comma (series), Repetition, $100 Words, Word Choice, Descriptive  
Writing Prompts: Write about a time in your life when you did something new for the first time. Write about a time in your life when working with a friend or partner helped you come up with or improve upon your ideas. 
Topics Covered: Music, Dance, Integration - Fine Arts, Inspiration, Teamwork, Adversity 
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