While little ones will enjoy pushing the buttons, there is little here to satisfy burgeoning ballet enthusiasts

READ REVIEW

MY FIRST BALLET

From the My First Music Book series

An introduction to classic ballet stories, including Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, and Sleeping Beauty.

Each of eight double page-spreads depicts one scene from these and other famous works and offers a short summary of the ballet’s plot. A plastic extension attached to the back page includes eight buttons that sample brief, tinny passages of the ballets’ music. The plot synopses are confusing and may leave the preschool audience baffled or bored. There is a long description of the nearly plotless The Afternoon of a Faun. Perhaps in a nod to those caregivers who are not ready to delve into the teen suicide of Romeo and Juliet and the idea of human sacrifice in Coppélia, the text glosses over these plot points. The smooth art, which looks to have been created with the aid of a computer, is a mix of muted and bold colors. The overall look combines the retro feel of early Disney animation with the big and languid eyes of anime; all dancers depicted are white. While the action is as fluid and lithe as one would expect, not all sequences clearly illustrate the scenes. For example, the Don Quixote spread features an image of a female, tutu-wearing ballet dancer front and center, but the summary references only Don Quixote and a robber.

While little ones will enjoy pushing the buttons, there is little here to satisfy burgeoning ballet enthusiasts . (Board book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-2-7338-5245-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Auzou Publishing

Review Posted Online: Nov. 22, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

It’s a bit hard to dance, or count, to this beat.

ONE MORE DINO ON THE FLOOR

Dinos that love to move and groove get children counting from one to 10—and perhaps moving to the beat.

Beginning with a solo bop by a female dino (she has eyelashes, doncha know), the dinosaur dance party begins. Each turn of the page adds another dino and a change in the dance genre: waltz, country line dancing, disco, limbo, square dancing, hip-hop, and swing. As the party would be incomplete without the moonwalk, the T. Rex does the honors…and once they are beyond their initial panic at his appearance, the onlookers cheer wildly. The repeated refrain on each spread allows for audience participation, though it doesn’t easily trip off the tongue: “They hear a swish. / What’s this? / One more? / One more dino on the floor.” Some of the prehistoric beasts are easily identifiable—pterodactyl, ankylosaurus, triceratops—but others will be known only to the dino-obsessed; none are identified, other than T-Rex. Packed spreads filled with psychedelically colored dinos sporting blocks of color, stripes, or polka dots (and infectious looks of joy) make identification even more difficult, to say nothing of counting them. Indeed, this fails as a counting primer: there are extra animals (and sometimes a grumpy T-Rex) in the backgrounds, and the next dino to join the party pokes its head into the frame on the page before. Besides all that, most kids won’t get the dance references.

It’s a bit hard to dance, or count, to this beat. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8075-1598-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A quiet book about making a giant leap.

LOTTIE & WALTER

Lottie knows something no one else knows. Her mother and brother don’t know. Her swimming instructor does not know, and the other children in swim class certainly don’t know.

There is a shark that lives in the pool. It wants to eat Lottie—only Lottie—and Lottie is not going to let it get anywhere near her. Most children have had moments when they’ve sat on the sidelines watching others laugh and play because they were too scared to just dive in, and that is precisely where Lottie finds herself. Lucky for her, Walter shows up just in time. He sings, they read books, play in bubbles, and even share the same favorite food. But when it comes time for Lottie to face her fears, can Walter truly help? Walter, as readers and Lottie see but her family may not, is an enormous walrus. Walker’s soft and appropriately watery illustrations complement and extend her whimsical text, lending a dreamlike feel to the story. Readers will discern the shadowy, predatory shape of the shark below the surface of the water even as Lottie’s classmates splash and play, and they will sympathize, and they will giggle at the depictions of Walter’s huge bulk in Lottie’s tidy urban home while believing that Walter will protect her. Lottie, her mother, and her brother have light-brown skin and black hair.

A quiet book about making a giant leap. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-47038-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Clarion

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more