Author: James Howe
illustrated by Randy Cecil
Interest Level: Ages 4-8
Publisher's Note: Brontorina had a dream. I want to dance! But Brontorina was rather large - too large to fit in Madame Lucille's dance studio. And Brontorina did not have the right shoes - and everyone knows you can't dance without the proper dance shoes. Still, Brontorina knew, deep in her heart, that she was meant to be a ballerina.
Why It's On My Bookshelf: If you were at Barnes and Noble a couple of Sundays ago and saw a grown woman reading a children's book with a big adorable dinosaur on the cover and hugging it afterwards...well, that would be ME. What's so great about those moments is when I realize how much the kids are going to enjoy my new find for them. And it is an AWESOME find. Brontorina covers acceptance, rejection, being yourself, differences, and following your dreams quite beautifully.
When Brontorina enters Madame Lucille's Dance Academy she is met with warmth and curiosity. But she's also met with a little bit of an attitude by two girls who just can't seem to find anything nice to say. It's like they want her to fail. They have a very minor role but I pointed out their put-downs. A kiddo said, "They are trying to stand in front of her dream!" Luckily, there are two other dancers, Clara and Jack, who want nothing more then to help her succeed. We need to lift each other up - not cut each other down. This was a well received message thanks to Brontorina. Major kudos to the author for picking a dinosaur to be a ballerina. This kept both boys and girls engaged. The last illustration got a heartwarming "AHHHHHH" from all the students. Oh, and from me too!
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