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BRONTORINA by James Howe


by James Howe & illustrated by Randy Cecil

Age Range: 2 - 7

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-7636-4437-6
Publisher: Candlewick

Brontorina is a rotund, orange Apatosaurus who dreams of being a ballerina, so she presents herself at Madame Lucille’s Dance Academy: “[I]n my heart I am a ballerina.” Despite Brontorina’s size and lack of ballet shoes, Madame Lucille decides to teach her along with the other, human students. As practice begins, Madame’s main directive to Brontorina is, “Please try not to squash the other dancers.” Here’s where Cecil's spare oil artwork illuminates, in creamy hues, the relatively diminutive children dancing with the enormous Brontorina as she pliés and twirls, wreaking havoc. It soon becomes evident that lessons at the studio are, at the very least, difficult. Brontorina, spilling giant tears, resigns herself to leaving. But there is a big surprise in store, and Madame Lucille gets a fresh perspective. The frankly funny illustrations complement Howe’s understated text, resulting in a sweet, frothy story, complete with tutus and arabesques, for the little (and big) dreamer in everyone, lightheartedly demonstrating that the sky’s the limit, so think big! (Picture book. 2-7)