BooksForKidsBlog

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Do It Your Way! Zuri Ray Tries Ballet by Tami Charles

 

ZURI RAY LOVED TRYING EXTRAORDINARY THINGS, ANYTHING BUT ORDINARY THINGS.

With Jessie, her BFFD (Best Friend from Diapers), she has taken on snorkeling, science experiments, ghost-hunting, and being detectives. They always take turns choosing what to do next. This time it's Jessie's turn and she chooses a week at Ballet Camp. She takes to the tutu, the pirouette, and the jete' right away.

But ballet is a bust for Zuri. The tight chignon hurts her head, the tutu is scratchy, and her slippered feet slide on the floor, and she finds herself, not en pointe, but en derriere!

It's an embarrassment for Zuri, who fancies herself a soccer star. When she arrives at home, she declares . . .

"I QUIT! IT'S TOO HARD FOR ME!"

But big sister Remi reminds Zuri what her family always says.

"WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH, THE RAYS GET TOUGHER!"

Zuri realizes that she can't let her family down. But the next day finds her still doing a pas de deux with the floor even more. She tells the teacher that she just can't move like the other little would-be ballerinas.

And her teacher tells her something that gives her a new way to look at the chasse' and plie'!

"DANCING IS ALL ABOUT IMAGINATION."

And when Zuri shows up for class the next day in her soccer uniform, she performs the high kicks her way, in Tami Charles' Zuri Ray Tries Ballet (Quill/HarperCollins, 2021).

It's different strokes for different folks, in a sweet story of friendship honored while being true to self. Author Tami Charles shows adventurous little friends who are willing to remain open about trying out new things while seeking their own "thing." Illustrator Sharon Sordo handles this difficult transition for the two Best Friends Forever as they navigate their first major disagreement with warmth, understanding, and humor, and pictures the importance of support from a loving family.

Says School Library Journal, "Young elementary-age readers will adore the vividly animated characters and feel encouraged by Zuri Ray and her example of finding compassion for herself and practicing honesty in friendship. A wonderful addition to any collection."

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