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Baby Flo: Florence Mills Lights up the Stage
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Baby Flo: Florence Mills Lights up the Stage

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  34 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
A biography recounting episodes from the early life of "Baby Florence" Mills, an internationally renowned entertainer of the Harlem Renaissance era who began her career as a child.
Hardcover, 42 pages
Published March 13th 2012 by Lee and Low (first published March 1st 2012)
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Aug 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book, based on a true story, focuses on the childhood of Florence Mills, “the sweetheart of the Harlem Renaissance.” Flo, born in 1896, grew up in “Goat Alley” – one of the poorest neighborhoods in Washington, D.C. Blessed with talent, she started performing when she was just three, earning small change and winning local dance contests. When she was seven, she actually got to appear at the Bijou Theater. The book ends when Florence and her father see her name up in lights at the Bijou, and ...more
Roberta Gibson
Aug 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Baby Flo: Florence Mills Lights Up the Stage by Alan Schroeder and illustrated by the husband/wife team of Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu is a picture book biography that will light up a child’s face when he or she reads it.

Baby Flo is about the childhood of a dancer from early 1900s, Florence Mills. At a very young age Florence danced with such a spirited style that she caught the attention of many of the Washington, D.C. elite. Florence Mills was performing on stage by three years old a
May 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kid-nonfiction
Illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu

This lovely picture book biography is illustrated with two-page spreads throughout. Rendered in lively, rich watercolor, they make this interesting story shine. Flo’s unquenchable personality comes to life between the pages of this story of her life, which is chronicled from her very young childhood, when she began singing and dancing. Florence Mills was beloved by her audiences all her life; do look for this lovely picture book; Goodreads doesn
Like many readers, I love biographies that tell the stories of once-famous folks whose fame has been lost to time. In this case, the focus is entertainer Florence Mills whose personality and ability to dance and sing brought her fame, attention, and money. She began her career at the age of three, bringing in extra money for her family. Back matter includes an author's note about Florence's short life as well as photographs. The illustrations capture her exuberant spirit and remind readers that ...more
Aug 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Florence Mills was full of charisma and talent from the moment she was born. She sang and danced her way everywhere especially along the street with her mother as they delivered the bundles of clean laundry. She drew an audience wherever she went and soon her parents realized what a little star they had on their hands. A friend happened to be a theater manager in Washington DC and quickly put her in a show. That is how her career officially began, at the age of three. Her dance steps were as del ...more
Michele Knott
I liked that this story just concentrated on Florence Mills' early years. The author explains how Florence got her start, how she came from a poor background and how she worked her way up. There is a great author's note at the beginning and the end. The beginning tells us how there is not much known about Florence's early years and there is some author interpretation. The author also switched where she first publicly sang since the real place was an "unsavory" location! The end note gives the re ...more
Mar 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
This juvenile biography of Baby Flo tells the story of her introduction to the stage at age 3 through singing and dancing for an audience. The text tells the story well, and the illustrations are an admirable addition. I personally enjoyed the afterward the most because of its inclusion of factual information and photographs. I only wish there'd been a photograph of a younger Florence Mills, but it is possible one no longer exists. This would be a great story for kids who are nervous about perfo ...more
I loved seeing the joy Flo found in singing and dancing. It reminded me of Josephine Baker. Florence Mills appears to have had a flat out love of singing. It's fun to see a child succeeding and having fun while accomplishing her goals. The book was very upbeat and the story concluded while Flo was still young. The author's note tells about the rest of her life. While it was mostly positive, I found the end of her life rather tragic as she died at thirty-one. The photograph that shows thousands o ...more
Abby Johnson
Nov 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Exuberant illustrations pair nicely with the text in this picture book biography of Florence Mills, an African-American performer at the turn of the 20th century. The text of the book focuses on her childhood, while an author's note fills in the rest of her career and her untimely death from tuberculosis. Photos of Florence are also included.

This is a great addition to the picture book biography shelves.
Jul 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
"Baby Florence" Mills was an extraordinary young entertainer in the early twentieth century, and this delightful picture book captures her lively personality beautifully. Her parents are portrayed as extremely hard working and supportive, and they are also notable for their calm good humor. The bright and detailed illustrations vividly depict facial expressions and movement.
Florence Mills was on of 1920's Harlem's most well-known and beloved entertainers, but her story is not well-known. This picture book biography describes Florence's childhood and early career as Baby Flo.
Apr 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
I love the message of not giving up or becoming discouraged in this book. The kids really liked this one.
Jul 14, 2012 added it
Wonderful! If you're new to vaudeville, start here. My review:

A good story of local DC history that was totally new to me. It didn't talk too much about race though, until the back matter.
Good read aloud for biography break and interesting that there were two Florence Mills books that came out this year. It would be interesting for children to read both and make comparistons.
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