FIREBIRD by Misty Copeland: A Review and Recommendation

FirebirdFirebird by Misty Copeland, illustrated by Christopher Myers

Misty Copeland dances the title role in Stravinsky’s The Firebird. Copeland uses this work as a theme for a dialogue with a young aspiring ballerina. The words are lyrical and graceful: “I was a dancer just like you,” Misty tells the young girl, “a dreaming shooting star of a girl/with work and worlds ahead.”  Myers’ paint and collage illustrations are simply miraculous:  full-page spreads, with colors to represent both dynamic action and cool serenity.  This book is well-deserving of the many awards this book won, including:

Winner of the 2015 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award
Received the 2015 Ezra Jack Keats Book Award New Writer Honor
An NPR Best Book of 2014

Essence Magazine Best Children’s Book of 2014

MistyThe Horn Book writes: “American Ballet Theatre soloist Copeland is just as graceful with words as she is with her body… Myers’s stunning collages layer strips of thickly painted paper to echo the wings of a firebird (Copeland’s signature role), whether they are illustrating the stage curtains or a cloudy sky… This book encourages today’s aspiring dancers of all colors and backgrounds.”

We also recommend dipping into Misty Copeland’s inspiring autobiography: Life in Motion:  An Unlikely Ballerina.

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