Dance the Hora, Isadora (Hardcover)
Bank Street College "Best Children's Books of the Year," 2023 Edition
"Joyous" --The Jewish Book Council
"Delightful and engaging" --The Sydney Taylor Shmooze
Chloe is our step-dance star. Tap-tap go her toes. Up go her knees, reaching almost as high as her chin.
When Chloe finished her routine last week, I felt Madame's eyes on me. "Isadora, would you like a turn? she asked.
More than anything, I wanted to say yes, but I had nothing to share. If only I could shine like Lucy, Mateo, and Chloe.On the way home, Grandma could see I needed some cheering up.
"Why such a sad face? she asked.
"Everyone in class has a special dance," I said. "Everyone except me ""
I have a feeling you may have one very soon," Grandma said, "maybe even this weekend."
I knew she was thinking about the wedding. On Sunday, Cousin Rachel was getting married to Adam.
Excerpts from Deborah Kalb's Interview with Gloria Koster:
DK: What inspired you to write Dance the Hora, Isadora , and how did you create your character Isadora?
GK: I wanted to write a wedding story in which the lens is focused on a child. While Isadora experiences the joy of the traditional dance and is able to teach it to her friends, she isn't happy throughout the story. It was important for me to imagine a real girl who initially experiences disappointment and who gains confidence with the support of a loving adult.
DK: What do you think the book says about dancing, and the hora specifically, in Jewish tradition?
GK: Though I have two left feet myself, I adore dancing. It's a way to clear my head, and I think Isadora's cares also melt away when she dances. The hora is new to her and also to her dance teacher and classmates, but everyone embraces the hora--typically, though not always, a Jewish dance--as happily as all the dances that reflect a variety of cultures (Latin dancing, step dancing, hip-hop, etc.)
DK: What do you hope kids take away from the book?
GK: I want kids to feel a kinship with Isadora, who is in a bit of a funk at first but feels like a superstar at the end. An the fact that she shares her traditional dance in a more secular setting will hopefully encourage all kids to proudly share things from their own cultures or religions.