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Pamela's First Musical Paperback – April 16, 1998

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Eloise meets Auntie Mame in this giddy whirlwind tour of Broadway, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Wasserstein's first picture book. For her eighth birthday, Pamela's glamorous Aunt Louise, "a perfectly perfect person," whisks her into Manhattan to a matinee (after lunch at the Russian Tea Room, of course). The curtain rises on an over-the-top musical extravaganza filled with chorus lines 100 dancers strong, tap numbers, fabulous costumes, sets as huge as an MGM lot, and an outrageously corny boy-meets-girl plot, all told from a child's perspective ("When he sang, he opened his mouth extra wide, and Pamela could see that he didn't have a single cavity"). Jackness, a noted set designer, produces illustrations as hyperbolic as the featured play. Splashing across the pages in a frenzy of candy-colored lights, his watercolors capture the hustle and bustle of the performance. The story is overlong, and while many may agree with Pamela that her romp is "most splendiferous," others may find the tone and the allusions to real-life Broadway personalities slightly arch. It's also ironic that a playwright as known for realism as Wasserstein relies on wholesale exaggeration to convey the magic of the theater. Ages 5-10.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3?The story of a young girl's first visit to a Broadway musical. It's Pamela's birthday and glamorous Aunt Louise is her entree to the excitement and thrill of lunch at the Russian Tea Room and seats at the 45th Street Theatre. Unfortunately, the text is littered with inside jokes that only avid theatre goers will appreciate. The female lead is Mary Ethel Bernadette (a tribute to Martin, Merman, Peters), and the male lead is Nathan Hines Klines (a tribute to Lane, Gregory, Kevin). The writers are Betty and Cy Songheim, who look curiously like Betty Comden and Adolf Green in the garish illustrations. The stage sets are a disjointed combination of bits and pieces from Pirates of Penzance, The King and I, South Pacific, Carousel, Peter Pan, and On the Town. This is certainly a subject of interest to children, but this endeavor by the award-winning dramatist is plagued by a plethora of puerile puns on plays. Two thumbs down!?Susan Pine, New York Public Library
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (April 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786812923
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786812929
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 0.1 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,079,297 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
For anyone who loves the theatre and is either a kid, or one at heart (and who isn't) PAMELA'S FIRST MUSICAL is wonderful. Not only is the story great fun in an Aunty Mame-meets-Eloise kind of way, but it is filled with many of the recognizable greats of the Broadway stage. A book to read, to keep, and to give.
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Format: Hardcover
Full of bright,highly expressive illustrations and loaded with plenty of amusing "the-tah" in-jokes,this is a book that is equally geared to both young and adult readers. A real treat!
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By A Customer on April 13, 1998
Format: Paperback
Wassertein scores! This winning story is full of incredible illustations and a wonderful story. A four-star hit!
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By A Customer on December 5, 1997
Format: Hardcover
A must for the child of anyone who has ever hummed a showtune in the shower, fantasized a Tony acceptance speech or any child who has even a glimmer of aspirations of performing
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Format: Paperback
This was a fun read-aloud and I loved that it introduced several elements of musical theater. Topics from costume designer to Tony Award to playbill were covered naturally throughout the story.

I did NOT like that the book mentioned Barbie and Pamela's desire for more Barbie dolls. Barbie even has a speaking part in this book! I want to instill a love of the arts in my children, not a desire for Barbie dolls. They get enough of that marketed to them every single day. It was disappointing.
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