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When Langston Dances
Table of Contents
About The Book
A young Black boy dreams of dancing in this exuberant, buoyant picture book celebrating the beauty of dance, and the wonder of Black Boy Joy—perfect for fans of Firebird and Crown!
Langston likes basketball okay, but what he loves is to dance—ever since he saw the Alvin Ailey Dance Company perform. He longs to twirl into a pirouette, whirl into a piqué. He wants to arabesque and attitude, grand battement and grand jeté. When he walks, the whole street is his stage.
With his neighborhood cheering him on, will Langston achieve his dream?
About The Illustrator
Keith Mallett has been drawing and painting for as long as he can remember. The NAACP Image Award-nominated artist and designer has created posters and fine art prints for more than forty years. As guest artist, he crafted the 2017 Google Doodle commemorating Martin Luther King Day. Keith Lives in San Diego with his wife and German Shepherd.
- Publisher: Denene Millner Books/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (September 7, 2021)
- Length: 40 pages
- ISBN13: 9781534485198
- Grades: P - 3
- Ages: 4 - 8
- Lexile ® AD580L The Lexile reading levels have been certified by the Lexile developer, MetaMetrics®
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Raves and Reviews
"A tenderly told story about self-acceptance. The love and support that Langston receives from his mother serve to buoy his confidence, but it is his awareness of his passion that sustains him and pushes him to do what makes him happy: a lesson for every child. The illustrations are warm and dreamy...the absolute embodiment of Black boy joy, this is a beautiful and important book."
– Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Mallett’s lively, realistic illustrations, characterized by airbrushed strokes and dynamic dancers of varying skin tones, help further bring the story to life. Notable is Langston’s unwavering passion for ballet—and his mother’s just as steadfast support—in this richly affirmative picture book."
– Publishers Weekly, starred review
Awards and Honors
- CCBC Choices (Cooperative Children's Book Council)
- NCTE Notable Children's Books in the Language Arts
- Massachusetts Children's Book Award Nominee
- Chickadee Award Nominee (ME)
- Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year Selection Title
- Massachusetts Book Award "Must Read" List
- Keystone to Reading Elementary Book Award Reading List (PA)
- BCALA Youth Literary Fiction Award
Resources and Downloads
High Resolution Images
Book Cover Image (jpg): When Langston Dances
Author Photo (jpg): Kaija Langley
Photo courtesy of the author(0.1 MB)
Any use of an author photo must include its respective photo credit
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