Sunday, September 30, 2012

Alvin Ailey

Pinkney, Andrea Davis. 1995. Alvin Ailey. NewYork: Hyperion. Ill. by Brian Pinkney. ISBN 978-078681077-2

This narrative biography tells the story of Alvin Ailey and his journey from small town Texas to one of the greatest dancers and choreographers of the 20th century.
Andrea Davis Pinkney manages to tell the story of the development of Alvin Ailey as a dancer and person through her simple yet compelling narrative of his life.  Information taken from interviews is interwoven with created dialogue to provide readers with a sense of who Ailey was as well as how he became that person.  Pinkney creates a sense of African American culture from the beginning of the book through the use of church and music.  She continues the journey by providing the reader with a glimpse of the racism and segregation which existed during Ailey's childhood.

Andrea Davis Pinkney receives a great deal of help in depicting the culture of Alvin Ailey with the wonderful illustrations of her husband Brian Pinkney.  Brian Pinkney's illustrations depict African American people of strength and dignity.  A strong sense of movement is created through the use of hash marks which present the illusion of dance from the flat pages of the book.  Further, Mr. Pinkney's use of period appropriate clothing within his illustrations help to place the reader in the proper mindset to properly appreciate the barriers faced by Alvin Ailey in his quest to become a dancer.



Children can investigate the work and legacy of Alvin Ailey by visiting

Visit youtube and watch the AAADT in action

Look for these other books for young people about Alvin Ailey and dance:

A Young Dancer: The Life of an Ailey Student by Gladstone
Beautiful Ballerina by Marilyn Nelson
Dancing in the Wings by Debbie Allen
Alvin Ailey by Gitenstein

No comments:

Post a Comment