From School Library Journal
Gr 1-3–This brief, straightforward depiction of a young girl's theatrical experiences provides a realistic and accurate glimpse into the art. Amaya's dream is to be on the stage, and her mother has been helping her with her memorization and articulation. She auditions for a musical and is chosen to play the lead in a professional play. The rest of the story is about the day-to-day realities of preparing for the performance. It clearly shows the dedication and discipline that are needed as well as the importance of all of those behind-the-scenes workers–the costume designer, property master, and stage crew, among others–who make this creative experience happen. Although Amaya has momentary stage fright at the dress rehearsal and forgets one of her lines, she recovers quickly. On opening night she gives a fine performance and is rewarded with positive reviews and perhaps the beginning of a successful career onstage. The realistic illustrations are done in a pastel palette and bring the personalities of the characters to life. Libraries that need books for the younger set about the theater will find this an agreeable addition.Carol Schene, formerly at Taunton Public Schools, MA
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This longer picture book fills a gap in arts-related fiction for young elementary-school-age children. The process of being in a theatrical production, from audition to opening-night party, is seen through the eyes of Amaya, who is introduced while she waits to perform a monologue for the play’s director and stage manager. The work involved in readying a play for an audience is carefully covered step-by-step, making evident the element of cooperation. The story itself is divided into acts, and a cast of characters (lighting designers, property managers, and so forth) precedes the action, listing the people met in the narrative and defining their jobs. A glossary at the end spells out what terms like blocking and green room mean. Brassard’s realistic illustrations focus on the emotions of the play’s child performers, with the curly-haired mixed-race Amaya spotlighted. Children curious about what happens behind the scenes as well as onstage will find this fits the (play)bill. Grades 1-4. --Karen Cruze