Some projects just feel like they are touched by kismet. Such is the case with Chris Barton’s nonfiction picture book text PIONEERS AND PIROUETTES.
Chris has had the idea of doing a picture book about the Christensen brothers, three guys from small-town Utah who are responsible for the Christmas tradition of performances of THE NUTCRACKER, for quite some time. As he dug deeper, he found the guys were pretty fascinatingâ€”their lives covered vaudeville, serving in WWII, living all over the country, writing original stage performances, championing ballet as an American art formâ€”and always, always, a love of dance in all forms.
Enter Carol Hinz of Millbrook, who not only confessed to being a fan of Chris Barton’s writing, but to having a lifelong love of ballet herself, from her first lessons at age 7 through her present-day classes. It turns out Carol wasn’t the only Millbrook staffer to be currently taking classes in ballet, either.
A match made in heaven! Now Carol and Millbrook will bring PIONEERS AND PIROUETTES to bookshelves in fall 2015â€”just in time for Christmas. Of course.
I’ll just add that my oldest electronic files for this project go back more than 10 years — thank you, Erin Murphy, for being so patient and persistent about finding the right home for Willam, Harold, and Lew Christensen’s story.