Rosie's Ballet Slippers

Susan Hampshire, Author, Maria Tesesa Meloni, Illustrator HarperCollins Publishers $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-026466-6
Meloni's luminous portraits of exuberant children entice readers into this sweet and spirited picture book about a girl's first ballet lesson. Outfitted in her brand-new pink slippers and leotard, Rosie joins a diverse, multicultural class of eager boys and girls as they learn sautes and plies under the watchful eye of Madame. By lesson's end, Rosie has learned many ballet basics and, more importantly, had a great time. Hampshire, a British author and actress who trained as a dancer, plays up the joy of movement in her kid-like descriptions of dance positions and steps. Students point their toes ""like sharp pencils,"" hold their skirts out ""like butterflies"" and stand with backs ""straight as ironing boards."" Skipping, jumping and ""dancing like animals"" are also part of Madame's fun-filled methods. Meloni's (Old Father Christmas) illustrations skillfully capture the text's playful mood and the children's boisterous energy, as well as a few tender scenes of what appears to be grace-in-progress. Young readers will take away a healthy dollop of nuts-and-bolts ballet terminology and intensified enthusiasm for dance. Ages 4-7. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
Hardcover - 978-0-06-026504-5
Prebound-Sewn - 32 pages - 978-0-613-08675-2
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-06-443488-1
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