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Jose! Born to Dance

Jose! Born to Dance

The Story of Jose Limon

Illustrated by: Raúl Colón
For Ages: 5 - 8
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  • common core
José was a boy with a song in his heart and a dance in his step. Born in Mexico in 1908, he came into the world kicking like a steer, and grew up to love to draw, play the piano, and dream. José's dreaming took him to faraway places. He dreamed of bullfighters and the sounds of the cancan dancers that he saw with his father. Dance lit a fire in José's soul.
With his heart to guide him, José left his family and went to New York to dance. He learned to flow and float and fly through space with steps like a Mexican breeze. When José danced, his spirit soared. From New York to lands afar, José Limón became known as the man who gave the world his own kind of dance.
Susanna Reich's lyrical text and Raúl Colón's shimmering artwork tell the story of a boy who was determined to make a difference in the world, and did. José! Born to Dance will inspire picture book readers to follow their hearts and live their dreams.
Choose a format:
  • Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books | 
  • 32 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780689865763 | 
  • August 2005 | 
  • Grades K - 3
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About the Author

Susanna Reich

Susanna Reich is the author of Clara Schumann: Piano Virtuoso, which was named an NCTE Orbis Pictus Honor Book, an ALA Notable Book, and a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year. A former professional dancer, Ms. Reich lives with her family in Ossining, New York.


Author Revealed

Q. how did you come to write Jose! Born to Dance?

A. Dance was my first love and my first career. Later I became a children's book author. I chose to write about Jose Limon because the story of his life was both a classic American immigrant narrative, and a story of how one man drew upon his childhood experiences to create art. I enjoyed the challenge of expressing in words the rhythms, phrasing, and emotional impact of dance. I'm interested in helping kids understand what it means to be an artist and how people become artists.

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