In her debut picture book, Oliver, Birgitta Sif explored the experience of an introvert with sensitivity and creativity that resulted in a memorable and worthwhile book. With Frances Dean Who Loved to Dance Sif visits similar, well worn terrain with the same fresh perspective that makes for another memorable picture book.
Frances Dean loves to dance, but only when she is all alone. When people are around she can "feel their eyes on her" and she forgets how to dance. One day, she discovers a little girl sitting on a park bench and singing the most beautiful song to herself. That night, she can't stop thinking about that little girl and "how she shared her beautiful song." The next morning, Frances Dean "felt the wind and heard the singing of the birds" and something shifted inside her.
Frances Dean starts her dance alone, but soon she is dancing for the birds, then the neighbor's dog and even an old lady in the park! Happily, she dances past the little girl with the beautiful song. She taps Frances Dean on the shoulder and asks, "Can you show me how to dance, too?" Frances Dean Who Loved to Dance is illustrated in the same, somewhat somber, muddy palette as Oliver that sets the tone for the story and with bursts of warm pinks and yellows add a hopeful, happy tone. Sif shares the same level of detail and parallel story telling in words and pictures as she did in Oliver as well, which is especially nice.
Source: Review Copy