Growing up on the Osage Indian reservation, Maria Tallchief was a gifted pianist and dancer. According to Osage tradition, women are not permitted to dance, but Maria’s parents recognized her gifts and allowed her to break the rule. Then when Maria reached the age of twelve, her father told her it was time to choose between her two loves. Maria chose ballet. It was a decision that would change not only the course of her life, but the face of classical ballet in America. The fascinating story of Maria Tallchief’s rise to become America’s prima ballerina will captivate young readers.
“Tallchief’s single-minded passion, conveyed in a clear, poetic narrative, will hold appeal and meaning for an audience beyond that of hopeful ballerinas.”–The Horn Book
“Kelley’s softly focused paintings underscore the lyrical tone, enveloping the characters and settings in gauzy, dreamlike light and concentrating, provocatively, on stillness as opposed to movement.”–Publisher’s Weekly
“ Large, rather impressionistic illustrations evoke period and place as well as Maria’s love for her art.”–Children’s Literature
“The text and artwork combine to make a pleasing introduction to a fascinating person. Wells’s personal connection to ballet and Tallchief, explained in the introduction, makes this effort all the more stirring. All told, a simple, lovely offering.”–School Library Journal