Adorable toddlers have fun with ballet
Bea loves everything about ballet class, from putting on her leotard and ballet slippers to bowing good-bye at the end of class. Bright, cheerful illustrations show Bea and her class learning the basic positions and movements and show them leaping and twirling to their hearts' delight.
Caldecott Honor winner--and former dancer--Rachel Isadora, the creator of Lili at Ballet, introduces young children to the joy of dance and creative expression.
Rachel Isadora, a former dancer, received a Caldecott Honor for Ben's Trumpet, and has written and illustrated numerous other books for children, including Say Hello!, Peekaboo Bedtime, the Lili at Ballet series and several classic tales set in Africa (including The Ugly Duckling, Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel and The Princess and the Pea). She lives in New York City.
As she did in Lili at Ballet (1993), Isadora presents an understated story introducing ballet basicssuch as girls and boys apparel and the classic five positionsdeftly streamlining both text and illustrations for a very young audience. Loosely outlined in pencil and ink and wearing dance garb whose radiant colors pop in each minimalist scene, Bea and the diverse group of toddlers in her ballet class are cherubic and infectiously enthusiastic. The informal, staccato narrative offers an effective mix of voice, incorporating third-person (Mr. Paul plays the piano for class), second (We clap hands to the music!), and first: I love to dance! proclaims Bea in one of several speech balloons, the only sources of color other than the childrens clothing. The visual tempo also varies; a static spread that shows four closeup, labeled feet placements (flat, relevé, point, flex) is followed by energetic scenes depicting the dancers performing various moves. A former dancer and Caldecott Honor artist (Bens Trumpet), Isadora conveys the joy of ballet in a book thats sure to buoy the confidence of beginning dancers. Ages 15. (May) 2012 Reed Business Information
"For the youngest dance enthusiasts, this is a pitch-perfect introduction to ballet. . . . Skillfully balances basic information with realistic childlike characters. . . . Nothing can dampen Bea's enthusiasm for ballet, and she shares it with aplomb." The Horn Book, starred review
"Bea and the diverse group of toddlers in her ballet class are cherubic and infectiously enthusiastic. . . . A former dancer and Caldecott Honor artist, Isadora conveys the joy of ballet in a book that's sure to buoy the confidence of beginning dancers." Publishers Weekly
"Bright, effective, inclusive . . . perfect introduction to ballet for toddlers, who will instantly recognize the peanut-stomached and chubby-legged bodies as their own. Isadora . . . makes this cheery, here's-how-it's-done offering effortlessly authoritative. . . . As delightful for toddlers as Isadora's Lili at Ballet series is for their grade-school counterparts. Fans of Katharine Holabird's Angelina Ballerina series ought to rejoice, too." Booklist
"A precious primer from the first lady of ballet books for children. . . . The students' camaraderie is charming. . . . Youngsters will no doubt be anxious for Bea's promised, 'See you next week!' to revisit this warm and inviting ballet class." School Library Journal
"For roly-poly little pre-ballet dancers whose bellies still pop out and whose tights sag at the knees. . . . They may get dizzy and fall when they spin, but Bea knows what's most important: 'I love to dance!'" The New York Times Book Review
"Just the right touch of pizzazz. . . . Isadora has produced many wonderful stories of the ballet for young readers, and this one is as lovely and accomplished. Endowing the dancers with chubby legs and an occasional stumble just raises the irresistibility factor. Enjoy and dance along." Kirkus Reviews
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