BASEBALL BELLA AND BALLERINA EMMA by Angele  Lavergne

BASEBALL BELLA AND BALLERINA EMMA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Two blue-eyed sisters realize that their different pursuits share a lot of qualities in this debut picture book.

Blonde-haired Emma loves sitting on top of the monkey bars, but redheaded Bella wants to play tag, telling her sibling she has to participate “because you’re my sister!” When Emma watches Bella’s baseball game, she thinks about how dissimilar they are. The two sisters regularly compare their interests, baseball and ballet. But they also celebrate each other’s strengths: Emma congratulates her sister on a home run, and Bella praises Emma for her grand jeté. When Bella sprains her ankle before the last game of the season, Emma takes her place, using her balletic style to reach home plate. The huge-eyed cartoon characters by debut illustrator Warms come alive against the pastel backgrounds. She uses light and shading to great effect and includes some variety in the skin tones among the ballerinas and ball players. The game’s climactic play shows Emma’s grace and athleticism. But the theme of sibling differences in Lavergne’s story leaves some unresolved tension: Emma is good at her sister’s sport while Bella is jealous of Emma’s splits. Still, the solidarity the siblings display, with Emma readily covering for Bella, deftly underscores the importance of teamwork.

Featuring siblings with diverse interests but similar talents, this tale works well as a counter to titles about rivalries.

Pub Date: May 23rd, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-5255-2203-1
Page count: 36pp
Publisher: FriesenPress
Program: Kirkus Indie
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