A little girl with red curls loves to dance—until she starts ballet school.
Rosie Red Curls, as her mother calls her, wears her tutu everywhere, points her toes and loves to listen to ballet stories—all with her beloved stuffed panda close by. Her mother enrolls her in ballet class, but this turns out to be a challenge. Rosie cannot manage the steps and looks like a “wilted flower” instead of a prima ballerina. Her ballet teacher comes to the rescue, giving her a pair of red ballet shoes, and now Rosie’s classroom steps are perfectly perfect. Even though her teacher also wore red, as Rosie sees in a photograph, they are not the real reason Rosie has bloomed: She now has confidence, and that comes from within, her teacher explains. Madame Natalie's explanation notwithstanding, the red shoes function as a sort of preschool deus ex machina, a baffling device in this context. Goode’s familiar illustrations in brush, pen and ink and pastel are appropriately delicate, the blues and pinks looking quite lovely on the white pages. The girls should not be shown en pointe in class, however; they are much too young.
With so many wonderful ballet stories available, this is one to skip. (Picture book. 3-6)