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2006 Book Award Winner

José! Born to Dance


Book Synopsis:

The 2006 winner of the Rivera Award introduces a new Mexican American cultural icon to the world of children’s literature. This wonderful book chronicles the life of world-famous dancer, José Limón, whose story begins in Mexico where he was born. José’s family left Mexico during the Mexican Revolution to live in California. When José became an adult, he moved to New York City where he discovered his love of dance. José performed all over the world and became a choreographer with his own dance company. The influences of his childhood experiences in Mexico fed his creative choreographing this template when you want to use photos and text to tell your story.

En Espanol: José! Nacido para Bailar

El ganador del Premio Rivera este año introduce un nuevo icono cultural México Americano para el mundo de la literatura infantil. Este maravilloso libro narra la vida del mundialmente famoso bailarín, José Limón, cuya historia comienza en México donde nació. La familia de José abandonó México durante la Revolución Mexicana para vivir en California. Cuando José se convirtió en un adulto, se trasladó a la ciudad de Nueva York, donde descubrió su amor por la danza. José actuó en todo el mundo y se convirtió en un coreógrafo con su propia compañía de danza. Las influencias de su experiencia de infancia en México le proveyeron con su talento creativo coreográfico.

Susanna Reich
is a native New Yorker who has been writing books for children since 1994. A former professional dancer, she studied at the Royal Academy of Dancing in London and the American Ballet Theatre School in New York. She holds a B.F.A. in dance from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and a Certificate in Movement Analysis from the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies. Her first book, Clara Schumann: Piano Virtuoso, received the Orbis Pictus Honor, was chosen ALA Notable and Best Book for Young Adults, and selected a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year. In addition to José! Born to Dance, she has also written a historical novel entitled, Penelope Bailey Takes the Stage. Since 2000, Susanna has worked as a children’s book publicist for Raab Associates, and serves on the Steering Committee of the Metro New York Chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She enjoys visiting schools and offers workshops and lectures for adults as well.Recipient Website:

Raúl Colón, a native of New York City, studied commercial art in Puerto Rico. He later moved to Florida where he worked at an educational television center designing puppets for animated films for television. He later returned to New York to begin his career as a freelance illustrator. The medium for his unique style is watercolor and colored pencil. Colón is a versatile and acclaimed artist whose work has appeared in publications like the New York Times, Time Magazine, The New Yorker, and the Wall Street Journal. He has illustrated numerous picture books, receivinggold and silver medals from the Society of Illustrators and a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year honor.