¡Olé! Flamenco

By Latin Baby Book Club

I am extremely excited to start off the New Year by sharing this new title that I found in my mailbox last month. Published by Lee & Low Books, ¡Olé! Flamenco, is a fascinating exploration of the Spanish dance. From its beginnings in Southern Spain, to the elements that identify it, photo-essayist, George Ancona, describes this passionate, colorful, and explosive art form that is often passed down from one family member to another. . . . Ancona’s beautiful pictures brings us inside the classroom for a quick look at the student’s schooltime, then they take us around the world to Spain and back, to learn about the three main parts of the dance—song, dance, and music —and each one is described in some detail. Young children will enjoy seeing the rich (and dramatic) facial expressions of the cantaores, as well as the boldly patterned costumes, traditional musical instruments, and fluid body poses. Ancona really does a lovely job expressing the movement, beauty, and emotion of this subject. . . . I think parents and teachers will love this book for its historical narrative, which is carefully written for young readers to understand. They will certainly be engaged from page one. A great read for children ages 4 and up. On his website, George Ancona states, “as a photographer, I can participate in other people’s lives…producing something that can be shared and has a life of its own.” I think that he has accomplished exactly this in ¡Olé! Flamenco. —