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BELINDA THE BALLERINA

Amy Young, Author
Amy Young, Author . Viking $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-670-03549-6
Prebound-Other - 30 pages - 978-0-606-33108-1
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-14-240272-6
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-0-670-06232-4
Hardcover - 978-1-903012-66-6
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-1-903012-67-3
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From her tight topknot to her slender ankles, Belinda is every inch the ballerina. "But Belinda had... two big problems: her left foot and her right foot." Belinda's feet are immensely long and tapered, though not ungainly. After a disastrous audition—"They're like flippers," a theater critic yells—Belinda hangs up her flamingo-pink tutu and pointe slippers, and becomes a server in a small restaurant, where the "customers liked her because she was quick and light on her feet." This dead-end job turns out to be her big break, for when a musical trio performs at the café, "they played a sweet yearning lilt of a tune, and before she knew what she was doing... Belinda was dancing!" In this triumphant moment, the heroine is suspended in mid-leap with a blissful smile on her face, while the musicians jam and the chef gawks. Young, in her debut picture book, implies that Belinda communicates through her art, by giving the delicate girl only one spoken line: the gracious "Oh my, yes!" spoken when the chef invites her to dance for his eclectic, appreciative customers and again when a special customer—a dance impresario—asks her to join the Grand Metropolitan Ballet. Shades of candy pink, canary yellow and cobalt blue set an optimistic backdrop for this tale of just deserts and an irrepressible urge to dance. Ages 3-8. (Mar.)

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