cover image Ballerina Rosie

Ballerina Rosie

Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, illus. by Diane Goode. S&S/Wiseman, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4424-3066-2

Ferguson (the Little Red series) introduces a vivacious aspiring dancer in this mild, somewhat pat story. Goode’s (the Louise the Big Cheese books) sprightly, wispy art is a show stealer, however, conveying Rosie’s personality with ease and humor. Rendered in mixed media and set against a white backdrop, the illustrations consist primarily of spare images of Rosie in constant motion—sliding down a banister (with her toes pointed, of course) and exuberantly dancing with her stuffed bear. Determined to be a prima ballerina, Rosie wears her tutu all the time, even while playing soccer and climbing trees. But when her mother decides it’s time for ballet school, Rosie has a tough time keeping up with her more graceful classmates, and her missteps are amusingly portrayed. Rosie is discouraged until a new pair of ballet shoes gives her the boost she needs. Although Madame Natalie tells Rosie that “practice and confidence” are responsible for her rapid turnaround in class, readers are still left with the disappointing message that it’s all about the shoes. Ages 4–8. Agent: Faith Hamlin, Sanford J. Green-burger Associates. Illustrator’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Aug.)