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BETSY B. LITTLE by Anne McEvoy


by Anne McEvoy and illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-06-059337-7
Publisher: HarperCollins

This vertically enhanced title follows the fortunes of Betsy B. Little, extraordinarily tall giraffe and ballet enthusiast. Betsy’s dream is to be a ballerina, but an unfortunate run-in with the ceiling and the snark of her fellow students relegate this lone artist to the great outdoors. Once there, however, she discovers that the sky’s the limit (so to speak) when it comes to dancing beneath the stars. It’s the usual “be yourself” fare, but the conclusion may leave readers scratching their heads. So Betsy B. Little proves that she can be a great ballerina by merely being outside? Seems a bit lacking. On top of that, there’s not really enough story to justify the book’s 32 pages. Though Rogers’s thick-painted watercolors and characters charm, there isn’t much here that’s going to distinguish Betsy’s from the hundreds of other animals-who-want-to-dance picture books out there. Nice enough, but reach for Dumpy La Rue, by Elizabeth Winthrop and illustrated by Betsy Lewin (2001), if there’s a need for an anthropomorphic fix en pointe. (Picture book. 4-8)