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cover imageBorn to Dance
by Katherine Reynolds

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: ideas4writers (1 November 2007)
Language: English
ISBN: 978-0955011627

Children's adventure (ages 8 - 12)

Price £7.95

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A timeless children's tale of adventure, friendship and triumph. Born to Dance is an illustrated children's novel for 8-12 year-olds ... and anyone else who enjoys a good tale. There's a cast of colourful characters led by Dylan de Polka, the tap-dancing dray horse, and his worldly-wise friend, Red Tabby. The talented animals in the story must fight for their freedom, with Dylan and Red Tabby leading the way.

Back cover text

Sold! The word sends a shiver of fear down to the very tips of Dylan's hooves. A fistful of grubby bank notes changes hands, and in an instant Dylan's world turns on its head.

If only the tune hadn't been so catchy; if only he hadn't been so lost in his dancing daydream; if only he'd stopped to think; if only – if only. The refrain echoes the clickety-clack of the wheels as the train rattles along the rails, carrying Dylan towards a fate unknown.

In the cosy warmth of the guard's van, the wily horse dealer sits dozing by the glowing stove, a grim smile of satisfaction playing about his cruel lips. Outside, sheets of rain lash the rolling wagons, and a ginger cat, wringing wet, crawls perilously along from one wagon to the next, desperately searching for her friend.

'Red Tabby,' exclaims Dylan as a ball of soggy fur lands at his feet, 'It's you!'

'Dylan!' his friend gasps, 'You're in terrible danger. You must escape at once!'


Winner of the David St John Thomas Children's Fiction Award 2008.

First Prize for Children's Fiction at the San Francisco Book Festival 2009.

Highly commended at the Hollywood Book Festival 2008, New England Festival, and the London Book Festival.

Customer Reviews

Ray Purdy, Kirkcudbright, Scotland
"We couldn't put it down! Each chapter has its own crisis and its own climax. Cumulatively the chapters build and build to a most satisfying conclusion. Visiting friends were so enthralled we gave our copy to them to take back home, so we had to buy another copy for ourselves. Will appeal to young and old. Definitely a keeper for the home library."

S Bayley, Newmarket, Canada
"This book was an absolute delight to read with my 9-year-old granddaughter who quickly and thoroughly became caught up in the adventure of the two main animal characters. It was fun to follow the plot as the animals took over the circus and overcame so many obstacles without the control of adult humans. She also really enjoyed being able to draw a picture at the end of each chapter of how she saw things unfolding, or what stuck in her imagination from the pages just read. I highly recommend Born To Dance to any fellow grandparents looking for something good to help connect with the grandchildren ... it really is a great read that we both had a good time with."

Lorna Dallas-Brown, New York and London
"This is truly a delightful book to enjoy over and over with your little ones! It is captivating to read the antics of Dylan, Tabby and all their animal friends and to see how their adventures unfold through thick and thin ... and perhaps think that we should 'talk to the animals' more often. It is charmingly and sparingly illustrated and leaves it to the imagination of the reader to see these pictures in their own minds and paint them onto their own canvasses both in their minds and on paper. The charm of the text and moral of the story are so sweet! I highly recommend the book for young'uns and oldies too. It will make a better story teller of Gramps any day! Thank you, Katherine Reynolds, for this delightful story! If this is indeed your first children's book, long may you continue to write many more!"

Gavin P. Mann
"Absolutely wonderful! Step into the world of Dylan and Red Tabby as their great adventure unfolds and hardship turns to triumph. Superbly written and beautifully presented. A must for young readers and equally perfect for parents and children who enjoy sharing a story."

"I really enjoyed Born to Dance. I think it's one of my favourite books I've ever read." Poppy

"I loved reading Born to Dance - it's a really good story. It's an amazing book." Katie

"Jess liked it SO much that he asked at school next day if he could swap the Alex Ryder he was reading for Born to Dance!!!! Yesterday he updated me on the plot and said that he'll keep doing that. So it is definitely a big hit." Jess's Mum

"My best book ever." Wills

"I have finally finished 'Born to Dance' and thoroughly enjoyed every page. It is now doing the rounds of my great-grandchildren who I am sure will enjoy it as much as I did." Joan Hughes, Canada

"It is a great story, I loved every single bit of it. I also really enjoyed drawing Red Tabby and Dylan's adventures in the spaces you left (that is really good because when you draw the picture you have a clear mind of what is happening in the story). I love the bit where Dylan goes on a journey all by himself to find his mother, then Red Tabby finds him and they go back to the circus and then all the other animals including, Lord Stomper, Madam Lulu and Ring master Chia help find his mother, I liked this bit because it shows that the animals, too have great courage and friendship." Eloise

You can send your reviews by email to: borntodance@dsl.pipex.com

Meet the author

The written word has always been Katherine's first love, but a talent for film-making steered her into a different career choice. With a friend, she founded a London film company, editing and producing award-winning TV documentaries. Over the years, her projects took her to Italy, Greece, India and then to Canada, where, in the course of her adventures, she met and married a well-known Toronto actor and became a Canadian citizen.

Working between Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, she created and produced TV series for children; collaborated on scripts for television and film; and wrote extensively for various magazines. She was, for ten years, Contributing Editor of Britannia, a North American magazine celebrating the British way of life. Later, she founded and wrote 'The Street', a monthly newsletter for Coronation Street's many overseas fans.

In 1998, she and her husband, Michael, returned to the UK to live near their film-maker daughter, and their grandchildren. The green and rolling countryside of Somerset soon worked its magic in her imagination and the adventures of Dylan de Polka and Red Tabby were born.

Katherine Reynolds: Member: Society of Authors and SCBWI.

Order your copy now!

Price: £7.95

Delivery charges (per copy):
UK: £1.00
Europe (airmail - 3 business days): £3.50
Rest of the world (surface mail - up to 8 weeks): £3.00
Rest of the world (airmail - 5 business days): £6.00

Payment options:

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We accept cheques, postal orders and bank drafts (British pounds only)

Other buying options

Born to Dance is also available from:

Amazon.co.uk and on Kindle in the UK or USA

or it can be ordered from any UK bookshop.

Dylan and Red Tabby's website

For more information about the story, the characters, the author, book signings, talks, school visits, and new places to buy Born to Dance: www.dylanandredtabby.com

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