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Ballerina Bear Hardcover – August 27, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bernice the bear cub embraces Terpsichore as her muse and ballet as her absolutely favorite form of dance. Unfortunately, she also has two left feet. "Whenever she twirled, she tumbled," writes Corey (You Forgot Your Skirt, Amelia Bloomer!), "Whenever she leaped, she landed in a lump." Then Bernice finds the perfect partner in Bertram, a young danseur whose technique is mind-numbingly perfect ("Whenever Bertram danced, people fell asleep") Paparone (The Little School Bus, reviewed May 13) shows that even the rehearsal pianist conks out on the keys in Bertram's presence. The two agree to act as foils for one another and become the stars of the ballet school rehearsal: "Bertram leaped. Bernice lumped. Bertram twirled. Bernice tumbled. The audience went wild." But readers may be left with more mixed emotions. Bernice never exudes the kind of bravado that makes for a comically memorable diva/devotee, perhaps because Corey's arch text and Paparone's softly jewel-toned, childlike artwork seem emotionally out of sync. The premise is sophisticated. Achieving mastery in physical coordination is a big deal to this age group, and children may not grasp the concept that Bertram's technical mastery could result in a soulless performance. Ages 2-6.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-K-Bernice is an endearing klutz. She loves most forms of dance, but is particularly fond of ballet. Her lack of grace makes her artistic future appear anything but assured until she wrangles a partnership with the most perfect male ballet dancer in her school. Bertram is a master of the art; however, his stylistic virtuosity lacks pizzazz and bores his audience to the point of slumber. The pairing proves such a happy juxtaposition of talents that the attendees at the annual ballet-school recital receive the duo with great enthusiasm. This is a feel-good story about persistence and valuing differences. It may also be popular with children interested in dance, although it is not of the caliber of the more realistic ballet stories by Satomi Ichikawa and Rachel Isadora. Paparone's warm, winsome color illustrations are alive with expression and movement.
Rosalyn Pierini, San Luis Obispo City-County Library, CA
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 2 - 6 years
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (August 27, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375814167
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375814167
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #601,647 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

When I was little, I loved stories about olden-day girls--my favorites were Betsy-Tacy, All-of-a-Kind Family, Little House On the Prairie. Imagine my delight when I went to college and discovered that I could take ENTIRE classes on olden-day girls! I learned to call it women's history, but really--it was the exact same topic I'd been interested in since I was five. Now, I have the great pleasure and honor of editing books for children myself. I also write picture books, most of them true stories about brave women and girls in history. When I'm not writing or editing, I'm usually reading with my two little boys.For additional resources, including lesson plans, book lists, and information on school visits, check out

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By reegee on December 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a nice hardcover book. I was hesitant to buy it since this site did not provide a look inside; however, I took a chance and it is a nice story and will be just right for a 1st through 3rd grade child.
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