Amazon Best Books of the Month, August 2010
: From Syd Hoff’s Danny and the Dinosaur
(1958) to Jane Yolen’s How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight
(2000), very early readers have long befriended dinosaurs between the pages of a book. The interaction of these enormous creatures rendered as lovable, comic characters has proven to be irresistible among the pre-K to Grade 1 set. Therefore, it will come as no surprise when young readers fall hard for James Howe and Randy Cecil’s very funny and endearing new picture book, Brontorina
, which stars Brontorina Apatosaurus, an enthusiastic and surprisingly agile dino who is determined to become a ballerina. She arrives at the doorstep of Madame Lucille’s Dance Academy for Girls and Boys, exclaiming “I want to dance!” Although Brontorina is certainly graceful, there are some concerns about her large size and her apparent inability to “fit in” among the smaller dancers, let alone in a pair of ballet slippers, the studio, or the arms of her male partner. With warmth and humor, Madame Lucille and her young students discover that if they step outside the (rosin) box, solutions may be found to some of the biggest problems imaginable. --Lauren Nemroff
From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2 Howe weaves a well-spun tale about acceptance and pursuing one's dream. When Brontorina Apatosaurus appears at the door of Madame Lucille's Dance Academy for Boys and Girls, she faces what could be sure rejection. Young Clara and Jack tug at Madame to accept her, while naysayers jeer at her lack of proper shoes. Finally, Madame admits Brontorina, and humorous scenes show little boys and girls doing arabesques, relevés, and jetés, while enormous Brontorina gracefully crashes into the ceiling. Madame concludes that the new pupil is just too big. Brontorina turns to leave, a dinosaur-size tear falling from her eye. Then the teacher has a realization: The problem is not that you are too big. The problem is that my studio is too small, and the academy gets relocated and renamed. A quiet fusion of pathos, comedy, and passion is echoed in the painterly, softly textured, muted oil illustrations. The final picture of the orange dinosaur perched like a bird atop a dancing triceratops, silhouetted against the setting sun, is priceless. Sara Lissa Paulson, American Sign Language and English Lower School PS 347, New York City
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