Madame Saqui: Revolutionary Rope Dancer

Random/Schwartz & Wade. Mar. 2020. 44p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780525579977.
PreS-Gr 3–During the French Revolution, Madame Saqui (1786–1886) may not have been a revolutionary herself; but her style, attitude, and passion for rope dancing were revolutionary ideas indeed. Long before Philippe Petit, who walked between the World Trade Center Buildings, or Charles Blondin, who walked on a wire across Niagara Falls, Madame Saqui achieved international fame as a rope dancer and wire walker. Born Marguerite-Antoinette Lalanne, she grew up in Paris with a dream to perform on a tightrope just like her parents. Not satisfied with making bonnets, she secretly practiced rope dancing at the fairgrounds, reigniting her family’s passion for performing. She married fellow acrobat Julien Saqui and danced into the heart of Paris and gained the admiration of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. Through both fame and hardship, Madame Saqui danced on without falling; Robinson’s high regard for her subject creates a glowing tribute to the rope dancer. Green’s palette of soft colors and gouache illustrations provide luminous visuals of early 1800s Paris and highlight the magic of these performances. An author’s note, a glossary of French terms, and a bibliography are included.
VERDICT This lesser-known subject is an inspiration for daring girls. An excellent addition to biography collections.

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