Dancing Dogs: Charlotte & Emilio at the Circus

Barbara Westman, Author HarperCollins Children's Books $14.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-022459-2
Charlotte and Emilio are two mutts who crave the spotlight. When Uncle Aubrey arrives in town with his splendid circus, the dogs think their big break has arrived and are sorely disappointed when Uncle Aubrey points out that they are too young and inexperienced. All are astonished at the canines' unexpected debut--``gracefully dancing the cha-cha'' atop Ruby the elephant--and they prove so popular that Uncle Aubrey has no choice but to offer them an annual big top appearance. Unfortunately, the lack of adversity or dramatic conflict in attaining their goal robs the story of potential interest: there is little joy in the dogs' achievement, and the story falls flat. The bold colors of Westman's childlike, cartoony art fill the pages with whimsical activity, but real interest in the characters remains superficial--perhaps owing to the two-dimensional pictures or the overly simplistic, chronological text. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
Hardcover - 978-0-06-022460-8
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