Quite frankly, this is an amazing book. Created by a former fashion model and dancer and designed for children ages 8 to 12, “Carla and Leo’s World of Dance” is well written and beautifully illustrated.
The book tells the story of best friends, Leo and Carla, who take classes at a dance studio. They sample everything from swing to foxtrot to tango. Throughout their journey, the reader learns about the history and background of each dance style as their teacher, Miss Paulina teaches them.
The book is visually engaging from the moment you see it. The cover features a darling picture of Carla and Leo dancing together, and he has sparkles on his tie while she has them dotted throughout her skirt–a detail you can’t see from the photo.
Thierry Perez is the illustrator, and he is nothing short of amazing. Every picture is imaginative and skillfully drawn–the book is really a feast for the eyes. It’s the kind of thing that as a child I would have cherished, and looked at again and again.
Author, Agatha Relota has done a wonderful job of capturing her love of dance here–it’s contagious. She strikes a nice balance between educating the reader and sharing the excitement of discovering dance for the first time. I also appreciated the fact that she chose something other than ballet to highlight, as so many dance books limit themselves to that as subject matter. This one exposes kids to a wide range of styles and teaches them what countries they hail from as well. You can tell a great deal of thought went into the format. Also, Relota’s friend, Jessica Alba penned a forward for her–something that was a bit unexpected, yet interesting.
If you are looking for a terrific dance book, “Carla and Leo’s World of Dance” is as good as they come. I wish I had something this cool when I was a 10-year-old girl.