Saturday, 22 February 2014

Angelina and the Princess by Katherine Holabird and Helen Craig (Children's, Picture book, 9/10E)

 January 2014, Puffin,  32 pages, Paperback, Review copy

Themes: ballet school, important performance, forgoing sleep for practise, getting ill, disobeying parental advice, wanting to quit, feeling a failure, fortunate goings on

Summary from Puffin
Miss Lilly's Ballet School has been invited to perform for the Princess of Mouseland, and Angelina hopes to be a prima ballerina. But disaster strikes when she is only given a minor role. Angelina is so disappointed that she wants to leave ballet school, but she decides to work hard for the sake of all her friends in the performance. There is an unexpected turn of events, however, when the prima ballerina sprains her ankle and Angelina is delighted to be able to step in and save the day!

Nayuleska's thoughts
As far as I can remember this is my first Angelina Ballerina book. It's utterly adorable! The level of detail with the expressive pictures remind of Brambly Hedge series or Little Grey Rabbit (links take you to sites about those particular tales). Angelina's toys are a little freaky, but I loved the mice on each of her bed pillars, the mice ornaments and how Angelina' mother is a knitter. There are the 4 seasons pictures om the wall outside Angelina's room, the pens and books in the basket beside Angelina and the balls of yarn by her mother when they are in the garden, the cute baby with no clothes on...there is so much to look at and inspire readers to imagine more tales.

Angelina looks so forlorn when she predictably doesn't do well in her audition. Sometimes we have to experience staying up too late practising something to understand the true value of sleep. It was a huge aw moment when she wanted to quit ballet and her mother gathered her up with love and took her to bed. I enjoyed how the reader learns just because Angelina flunked the audition doesn't mean her dreams are dashed, as she - like us - never knows whats around the corner.

Check out more on the dedicated website.
Suggested read
Another ballet themed tale is Magic Ballerina: Delphie and the Magic Ballet Shoes by Darcy Bussell (Children's, 5 years +, 10E/10E)

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