Thursday, January 05, 2012

How Come You Deux Me Like You Deux, Deux, Deux?: Miss Lina's Ballerinas and the Prince by Grace Maccarone

In a cozy white house in the town of Messina
Nine little girls stood dancing with Miss Lina.

Christina, Edwina, Sabrina, Justina.
Katrina, Bettina, Marina, Regina, and Nina.

It is a very homogeneous corps de ballet. Even their names rhyme with their teacher's, and everyone is d'accord that things are just perfect at Miss Lina's ballet school.

But then, Miss Lina makes an announcement that turns their pirouettes into perplexities.

A dancer would join them the following day.

"He's a boy," said Miss Lina. "I want you to know.
He'll join us for class and our end-of-year show."

The ballerinas' brains are suddenly filled with images of themselves, dancing in the annual recital, not just with the corps, not even soloing in the spotlight, but dancing a classic pas de deux, a princess dancing those classic steps with her handsome prince.

But when Tony arrives for his first class, the sight of nine pink-clad princess wannabes posing en pointe is totally intimidating, and Tony turns his athletic audition into a dramatic dance exiting page right!

He took three big steps, then he bounced off the floor,
Did a split in the air and he soared out the door!

"Chasse!" said Miss Lina."Get him! Now, GO!"

The girls track him down at last to the zoo, where the outdoor setting inspires the whole class to join Tony in a wild, leaping dance for the appreciative animals.

They sprung and they lunged and they spun.
And the boy learned that a pas de deux could be fun.

Grace Maccerone's sequel to the popular Miss Lina's Ballerinas, her newest, Miss Lina's Ballerinas And The Prince (Feiwel & Friends, 2011) again parallels the classic Madeline stories in her clever versification style, and Christina Davenier's soft line and lavender and pink palette will have young balletomanes practicing their penches and promenades, and doing their developpes dutifully while they read this latest ballade of the nine ballerinas and their first pas de deux. As in her earlier book, Maccerone includes an appendix of ballet terms for the balletophile reader.

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