Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Corps de Ballet? Dance Is For Everyone by Andrea Zuill

Mrs. Iraina and her ballerinas were surprised.

There was a new student in their dance class

They decided it was okay for her to join.

Besides, who would be brave enough to tell a 450-pound alligator she couldn't?

The big green 'gator seems to be able to follow all the moves, so Mrs. Iraina carries on with class, making a mental note to stock up on alligator snacks to keep her little dancers safe. They name the alligator Tanya.

There was one hazard, though.

Tanya didn't seem to know what was going on with her tail!

Ballet teachers have to be creative with the dancers they have, and for their recital Mrs. Iraina and her little ballerinas come up with a novel production with a setting which is, er, suited to Tanya's talents--"The Legend of the Swamp Queen," with the kids in animal outfits and you-know-who dancing the title role!

The audience is enthralled with the star ballerina--so strong and so fully immersed in her role!

And what an unbelievably realistic costume!

It's a hit, in Andrea Zuill's Dance Is for Everyone (Sterling Books, 2017). There are plenty of giggles as the little dancers gawk at their big green classmate and try not to trip on her tail, and author-illustrator Zuill provides plenty of sight gags as Tanya trips the not-so-light fantastic to extend the humor of this tale. Says School Library Journal, "The illustrations are quirky and the plot is engaging, with jokes adults will appreciate peppered throughout. The narrative coveys the story's message of inclusion in a subtle manner, but the book's title makes this important theme abundantly clear."

For a further taste of Zuill's comic picture book talents, see her delightful walk on the wild side with a trio of pampered pooches, in Wolf Camp (read review here).

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