Tallchief: America's Prima Ballerina

by Maria Tallchief, Rosemary Wells, and Gary Kelley

Maria Tallchief was born on an Osage Indian Reservation in Oklahoma in 1925 to an... read more

Maria Tallchief was born on an Osage Indian Reservation in Oklahoma in 1925 to an Osage Indian father and a Scots-Irish mother. Both of her parents encouraged her early interest in music and arranged for her to study both piano and ballet. By 1933 it have become so clear to her parents that Maria was gifted that they moved the entire family to Los Angeles so she could get a better education in music and dance. Told in a direct, first-person narrative, this autobiographical account of Tallchief’s childhood and adolescence stresses her bicultural heritage, as well as the influences of her childhood dance teachers. Many of Gary Kelley’s pastel paintings pay tribute to Degas. (Ages 5-10)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2000

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