October 20, 2016

Vamperina Ballerina by Anne Marie Pace, illustrated by LeUyen Pham

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 6:48 pm by suebe2

vampirina-ballerinaVamperina Ballerina
by Anne Marie Pace
illustrated by LeUyen Pham
Disney/Hyperion

Looking for a fun Halloween book that can be read year round?  Then pick up a copy of Vamperina Ballerina today.

From finding just the right ballet school to how to behave your first day of class, this book is a fabulous and funny how-to on the art of ballet. Some of the helpful tips?

“Keep your eyes and ears open and your mouth closed.”  Why?  So that your fangs don’t distract the other dancers.

“And a mistake here or there is not a reflection on your talent.”  Honestly, this was my favorite tip.  As with many an excellent picture book, Pham’s paintings add details not present in the text.  We aren’t told what specific problems our young dancer is having but the illustrations show her, awkward and struggling, as she eventually trips and tumbles through her peers.  To add insult to injury, when Madame tries to show her how to correct her posture, using the mirror, she discovers that Vamperina has no reflection.

There is really so much to love about this book. Vamperina isn’t an instant success as a dancer and continues to struggle until, slowly, she improves.  The whole time she has the support of her family.  We see her older sister placing a stack of books on her head to help with posture, Mom sculpting the young dancer, and Dad painting a picture that looks surprisingly Degas.

Pace’s text is spare and upbeat and oh so fun.  Pham’s watercolor and ink illustrations expand wonderfully on the story, adding all kinds of visuals that aren’t present in the text.  Honestly, if you’re the one reading this story out loud, you’re going to want to “read” it a second time focusing on the illustrations.

Share this with the spooktacular dancer in your life but don’t be surprised when she wants a ballet cape or a batty head band.

–SueBE

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