cover image Tallulah's Tutu

Tallulah's Tutu

Marilyn Singer, illus. by Alexandra Boiger, Clarion, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-547-17353-5

Tallulah starts her lessons at the barre with visions of a much-coveted tutu dancing in her head. But when class after class goes by and all her teacher has to offer is, "Good job," Tallulah finally loses it. "That's not fair!" she cries, stamping her feet. "A ballerina needs a tutu, and she needs it now!" Gradually, Tallulah learns two important lessons: ballet is in her blood ("She always did a plié when she patted the neighbor's dog"), and not everything in life is about instant gratification. Singer (Mirror, Mirror) and Boiger (The Monster Princess) offer a story that is ostensibly as light on its feet as a sugar plum fairy. But without preaching, they score some important points about the value of patience, persistence, and the pursuit of perfection. And while Boiger's watercolors feel a bit too sunny and rose-hued at first—Tallulah and her classmates are standard-issue cute, with big, eager eyes—she captures the budding poise and grace of a young ballerina as well as the transformative power of discovering a true calling. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)