- Age Range: 5 - 6 years
- Paperback: 36 pages
- Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (September 5, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1439209162
- ISBN-13: 978-1439209165
- Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.1 x 10.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 32 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,603,683 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Tutu Ballet Paperback – September 5, 2008
About the Author
Award-winning author, Sally O. Lee earned her BA in Studio Art and Art History (with distinction) from Colby College and then went on to study graphic design and painting in Boston (Art Institute of Boston) and in New York City (New York Studio School). She has had several shows of her work and received an art grant from The Massachusetts Institute of Technology to conceive and create a series of paintings, and from this came her 2002 exhibition- A Journey Into Abstraction. Some of Ms. Lee's paintings are in various private collections in the US. In recent years, Ms. Lee has begun to write and illustrate children's books. Some of them deal with the struggles of living with some form of handicap...or, as the author prefers to call it, imperfection. Many of her illustrations have been published and she has earned both academic and public recognition for her important work in children's books. She has had illustrations published in Worldlink Magazine, IEEE Magazine, and several other publications. Sally lives and works in Massachusetts. Sally Lee writes "My children's books are an extension of my work as a painter. Writing is a new addition for me, and I am enjoying it very much. And creating the illustrations is a perfect way to continue my painting in a new direction and a nice way to complement my writing. I hope to write and illustrate many more". Ms. Lee most recently won The Pinnacle Achievement Award for "Is there a monster over there?". Earlier awards include: Reader View’s Reviewer’s Choice Award – 2nd place – Children - Toddler to Five - 2008 for “The Tutu Ballet”. She also won Best Picture Book – 2008 for “The Cake Thief”, and Best Children’s Book – 2008 for “The Rabbit and The Snowman” from BooksandAuthors.net. And most recently, the Family Choice Award 2009 for *“No, Never!”*
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According to the copyright page, the book is "a story about tolerance, patience, creativity, teamwork, and love." As a parent and education professional, I would say it is more a story of how everyone is considered a winner these days no matter what they do. This mentality has infected our school systems where every child gets a sticker of some thing regardless of ability or effort. Such is the case here. Instead of actual learning to follow instructions given by their teacher, Ms. Berry, the children do what they want from start to finish. It is the adult role model, the former prima ballerina, who ends up surrendering to their behavior and letting children do what they want to do. In fact, by coming up with the plan for the recital, the adult has encouraged the independent do what you will behavior to continue in the future. While the age group targeted may not pick upon that message the adults certainly will. Even for a children's book, these characters show no growth at all. The moral of the book seems to be let the kids do what they want and everyone will be happy.
Unfortunately, things don't work that way. Even if one can get by the moral theme, there are other issues with the book. For example, the illustrations are flat with everyone depicted as half smiling regardless of circumstances. There is a woodeness to the depictions that while the figures are colorful, they have no life to them. The poses may change, but there is no change to the characters and they remain uniformly the same throughout the book.
The biggest issue is the typeface. "This book is typeset in 'snowman' created by Sally O. Lee" according to the copyright page. The typeface itself seems to be nothing special and is rather small. The main issue is that the typeface is often set directly on top of the watercolor illustrations, making the unrythmic text virtually unreadable. This is somewhat depicted on the cover with the "story and illustrations by sally o. lee" blending into the illustration and there are stronger examples inside the book itself.
With a text that pushes the do anything and its great agenda, flat illustrations and unreadable typeface in many places throughout the book, I have to caution parents strongly to avoid this self published book. This one doesn't work on many levels and is a real disappointment.
Kevin R. Tipple (copyright) 2008
A reviewer note--Clearly, this is a minority opinion and therefore I expect to be rated down accordingly here at Amazon and not rated over the actual quality of the review itself. This frequently happens at Amazon when I don't agree with the positive reviews on a book and I am not suprised when it does. When I rate a review, I do it concerning the quality of the review and not the position it takes. Others disagree and that is fine.
One of the things that I love about this book is that it celebrates the differences among the characters. Each character has his own favorite step, and that's okay. Lee doesn't stress conformity. Instead, the ballet teacher, Ms. Berry praises each student's signature move. Ms. Berry even goes so far as to build a whole recital around their differences. (As someone who has spent a lot of time in dance studios over the years, I found this a bit hard to believe. However, it does make for a great ending.)
As with Lee's other books, The Tutu Ballet features beautiful pictures. The colors are vibrant, and the textured look is amazing. Lee creates her illustrations with a combination of watercolor and pen and ink on paper. The result is a stunning set of illustrations that will delight young readers. I am constantly amazed by Lee's work. She even has her type set in a custom font. This level of detail is impressive.
Lee captures the excitement and anxiety of a child's first dance recital. It is hard to say who is more nervous- the students or their parents. The recital itself is depicted beautifully. Lee gives a step by step account of the dance that should appeal to all readers. She uses plenty of action verbs to describe both the class and the show. This technique makes the story come alive for non-dancers.
The Tutu Ballet is a fun children's book. It will probably appeal most to little girls who take ballet, but it has enough comedy to keep others interested as well. The illustrations are beautiful, and the story is enjoyable. It celebrates differences among dancers and people. Overall, I think it is Sally O. Lee's best book yet.
"The Tutu Ballet" is a nicely written and illustrated children's book for ages 4 - 8 by Sally O. Lee. Lee used watercolor and pen and ink on paper to do the illustrations and one could marvel at the illustrations for hours without reading the story. But the story is a charming one filled with all kinds of animals that want to do ballet. The story is a simple one on the surface but there is a nice little lesson underneath it as the teacher plays to the strengths of each student rather than force them to do something they don't like to do. Children will learn that it is okay to have something that you are passionate about and can learn to share their gift with others without being selfish about it. The beauty of this lesson about teamwork is that the book is so enjoyable and charming that children won't even realize they are being taught a lesson.
"The Tutu Ballet" is a charming book for children.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."