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
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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 PhelanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved