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Reviewed by Diana Lopez for Readers' Favorite
Dancing enables children to have better control of their bodies and express themselves more freely, but sometimes they may feel exposed and be afraid of being judged. That is why it is necessary to teach them to have self-confidence. Dancing Deepa by Suchi Sairam focuses on this idea. The story concerns Deepa, an elementary school girl who sees an advertisement for a talent show at her school. She is excited to see a poster with images of the different activities, but she becomes discouraged when she doesn't find what she likes best. She practices an Indian dance called Bharatanatyam. Deepa knows that dancing is an activity performed with love and wants to share her joy with her schoolmates. She is worried about taking the risk without knowing the opinions of her schoolmates and fears the possible criticism she may receive. But she also knows it is up to her to have the courage to act.
Suchi Sairam explores significant ideas in a short story that is easy to follow. She teaches children to be brave and to take risks, while at the same time encouraging them to be comfortable with their customs and traditions. In this way, children will be better equipped to accept living in a multicultural society. I liked the images because they were colorful and expressive. They also convey a spirit of mutual support among schoolmates. Although children may practice activities other than dance, they will identify with Deepa because of her doubts. They will understand that it is normal to be nervous in new situations and will be inspired to find the courage they need. Dancing Deepa will motivate young readers to strive for an environment without prejudice.