Following Up with Barbara McClintock . . .

h1 March 24th, 2016 by jules

“The theater lights dim. The music begins. The curtain rises. The dancers glide onstage. Gracefully they bend, and swirl, and leap. Emma watches every move.
She can feel every lift of the dancers’ arms, every step and pause.”

(Click each to enlarge)


Last week, I chatted with author-illustrator Barbara McClintock over at Kirkus about her newest picture book, Emma and Julia Love Ballet (Scholastic, February 2016). That Q&A is here, and today Barbara visits to share some art and research images.



Barbara: “This is me when I was … maybe 4 years old?
I still stick my tongue out when I draw, or so I’ve been told.”




Barbara: “This is my sister, Kathleen, in her ballet costume.
My dad, who was a professional portrait photographer, took the picture.”


Judith Jamison,
who was an inspiration (as Barbara noted in the Q&A) for the book

(Click to enlarge photo)


Misty Copeland, the first African American woman
to be promoted to principal dancer in the American Ballet Theatre’s history




The Connecticut Concert Ballet in Manchester, Connecticut;
Pictured last: Even Barbara gives it a try …


Sketching and Thumbnailing:


(Click first three to enlarge)




(Click each to enlarge)




(Click all but first two to enlarge)


“Emma’s mother drives her to her lesson.
Julia takes the bus by herself.”

(Click to enlarge)


Sketch and final spread: “As Emma and her family arrive at the theater …
… Julia and the other dancers finish warming up onstage. Now it’s time to go downstairs to get into their costumes.”

(Click each to enlarge)


“‘Someday,’ Emma tells Julia, ‘I will dance onstage—just like you!’
Julia gives Emma a big hug. ‘And once I dreamed of being a dancer—just like
you!’ Emma and Julia love ballet.”
(Click each to enlarge)


Barbara: “This is me with Dianne Hess, my fantastic editor and friend,
at ALA in January, celebrating our book.”


Barbara: “This is my partner David Johnson’s mom when she was a children’s librarian at the New Canaan Public Library in New Canaan, Connecticut. I have the distinct pleasure of having a partner who prefers Dewey Decimal System jokes
to Library of Congress ones.”



* * * * * * *

EMMA AND JULIA LOVE BALLET. Copyright © 2016 by Barbara McClintock. Published by Scholastic Press, New York. All images here used by permission of Barbara McClintock.

3 comments to “Following Up with Barbara McClintock . . .”

  1. So thrilling to see this whole process! What a treat!

  2. So beautiful! How special to see so much of the process. Thank you Julie and wonderful work Barbara!

  3. Oh my goodness, I must get this for a special girl I know!
    What a wonderful post!

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