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Dancing Larry Hardcover – March 1, 2006

3.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3–That delightful polar bear who is employed as a lifeguard at the Hotel Larry is back. His matter-of-fact, sensible approach to life is evidenced in the explanations of daily events that he offers the Frobishers, the hotel owners. Here, he accompanies young Mildred to her dancing lesson and joins the class. He sees nothing wrong with a polar bear dancing as, he explains, there was plenty of it in his Arctic home. However, Madame Swoboda refuses to let him participate. Mildred gives him ballet lessons at home, which he then shows the other polar bears at the zoo where his brother works. The wacky story is clever, genial, and full of the droll humor found in other books about Larry. Energetic pictures of the active bears, done with simple lines, are particularly funny. This imaginative, lovable polar bear will be welcomed back by young readers.–Andrea Tarr, Corona Public Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

K-Gr. 3. When ballet instructor Madame Swoboda refuses to accept Larry, an enormous polar bear, as a pupil in the children's ballet class, he refuses to admit defeat. With a band of bruin brothers who are, like him, entranced by the possibilities of expressing themselves through dance, Larry forms a ballet company and mounts an extraordinary performance. From the series that began with Young Larry (1997) and At the Hotel Larry (1997), this unusual picture book combines a good story with colorful artwork that creates a world like, yet unlike, our own. Just as Larry's voice lends a distinctive tone to the narrative, Pinkwater's polar bear images, set against the cheery colors of the Bayonne, New Jersey, backdrop, make a distinctive visual statement. Pair this with Amy Young's Belinda the Ballerina (2002), another picture book in which a dancer overcomes discouragement to triumph in ballet. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Cavendish Square Publishing; Library Binding edition (March 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761452206
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761452201
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 9.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,568,228 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Allen Greenbaum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on December 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Published only a half a year after "Bad Bears and a Bunny," this 2006 offering lacks the sly wit and bravado of the "Bad Bear" series. The stories about Larry and Roy generally have fewer hi-jinks and big laughs than those about blueberry muffin-stealing Irving and Muktuk (the two bad bears), and I suppose the latter series has somewhat spoiled me.

Still, Larry (who not only loves muffins, but is a pretty kewl, bongo playing bear to boot) is a little too society-respectable in this outing. Although, Larry exhibits some nice ballet steps moves and involves his fellow bears in a concert at the "Hotel Larry," a little more excitement and mischief would have enlivened the story. Blueberry muffins are bearly (pun intended) mentioned until the conclusion, when they are offered as a post-concert snack.

Perhaps Daniel and Jill Pinkwater (or their new publisher) targeted a younger audience or stricter parents. It's true that Larry protests openly ("I think that is highly unfair") when Madeline Frobisher's ballet teacher, Madame Swoboda, refuses him entry to the dance boards {"this is a dancing class for children and not for bears"), but he accepts this edict. He learns ballet steps from Madeline (daughter of "Hotel Larry" owner, Martin Frobisher), gets Roy and two other zoo bears to practice positions, and finally invites hotel guests to "The Polar Bear Ballet Production of 'Goldilocks and the Three Bears.'" The surprise that Larry promises to reveal at the show is either that he has written a prince into the story, or that the performers will enjoy blueberry muffins after the performance. The conclusion is fairly abrupt, leaving one as unsatisfied as a bear without a blueberry.
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By Persop on January 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover
In reading Dancing Larry I can hear the authors voice. The illustrations and story are excellent until the ending. There is none. You can see the audience throwing flowers and clapping but... Then you turn the page the group is bowing and ...Finis. Who is the audience? Is the instructor present? What do the polar bears think or feel? What was Larry's plan?
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Format: Hardcover
Reading this book to my daughter, 3, was an experience. It is such a different kind of book. The main character snubs his nose at tradition and authority to follow his passion: dance. The authors use repetition to drive home points of the story and the rhythms of the scenes. In the end Larry and his friends perform the dance of a lifetime ... supported by those that love them. Did the instructor attend? Who cares. They danced! A wonderful story to read to little people who are learning to operate in our world. Sometimes, the rules just aren't fair, so you have to make your own!
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