Cover image for Belinda, the ballerina
Title:
Belinda, the ballerina
Author:
Young, Amy.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Viking, [2002]

©2002
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
Summary:
When Belinda auditions for the Spring Ballet Recital and the judges tell her she can not be a ballerina because her feet are too big, she tries to forget about dancing.
Language:
English
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.1 0.5 68963.
ISBN:
9780670035496
Format :
Book

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PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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Summary

Summary

Once there was a ballerina named Belinda. Belinda loved to dance. She went to ballet school every day and practiced very hard. But Belinda had a big problem. Actually, Belinda had two big problems: her left foot and her right foot. When a trio of big-mouthed dance critics declare that Belinda has no future in ballet, Belinda decides to give up dancing forever. But what's a dancer to do if she can't dance? A playful text and whimsical illustrations by an exciting newcomer set the stage for a story in which the size of the heroine's feet is rivaled only by the size of her heart.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

PreS^-Gr. 2. When Belinda walks on stage for the Annual Ballet Recital audition, the judges spot her enormously long feet and shoo her offstage before she even has a chance to dance. Sadly hanging up her outsize pointe shoes, she walks away from her dreams of ballerinahood and takes a job waiting tables at Fred's Fine Food. One day Fred brings in a band to play for his customers. Soon Belinda is ecstatically dancing, leaping, and soaring: first for the customers, then for a ballet company maestro, then for the audience at the Grand Metropolitan Hall. A somewhat predictable plot is given a fresh and satisfying treatment, utilizing spirited gouache paintings that capture the sadness, the humor, and the triumph of Belinda's story. Some of the art is particularly notable for its evocation of mood. For every young dancer who finds that her body is not perfect (that is, almost every young dancer), the story puts physical defects into perspective and offers something to laugh about at the same time. --Carolyn Phelan


Publisher's Weekly Review

From her tight topknot to her slender ankles, Belinda is every inch the ballerina. "But Belinda had... two big problems: her left foot and her right foot." Belinda's feet are immensely long and tapered, though not ungainly. After a disastrous audition-"They're like flippers," a theater critic yells-Belinda hangs up her flamingo-pink tutu and pointe slippers, and becomes a server in a small restaurant, where the "customers liked her because she was quick and light on her feet." This dead-end job turns out to be her big break, for when a musical trio performs at the cafe, "they played a sweet yearning lilt of a tune, and before she knew what she was doing... Belinda was dancing!" In this triumphant moment, the heroine is suspended in mid-leap with a blissful smile on her face, while the musicians jam and the chef gawks. Young, in her debut picture book, implies that Belinda communicates through her art, by giving the delicate girl only one spoken line: the gracious "Oh my, yes!" spoken when the chef invites her to dance for his eclectic, appreciative customers and again when a special customer-a dance impresario-asks her to join the Grand Metropolitan Ballet. Shades of candy pink, canary yellow and cobalt blue set an optimistic backdrop for this tale of just deserts and an irrepressible urge to dance. Ages 3-8. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-Belinda wants to be a ballerina. Unfortunately, she has "two big problems"-two very big feet. The snooty judges for the Annual Ballet Recital at the Grand Metropolitan Ballet simply cannot barre the sight. Belinda hangs up her lovely pink tutu and changes careers, becoming a waitress at Fred's Fine Food. Then one day, when a band shows up at the eatery, Belinda hears the music and heeds her calling. She flies through the air enchanting the customers, who pass the word on to the Maestro of the ballet. Belinda now shines on stage, dancing so grandly to the music of the band that no one notices her feet, and the judges insist that they have discovered her. Bowing with her arms full of roses, Belinda "didn't care a fig." This cheerful story, illustrated in gouache, may not be grounded in the realities of performance life, but it is amusing and hopefully will strike a chord with children who love to move but who are not perfectly proportioned. The artwork swirls about in bright blues, pinks, and purples while the page layout and Belinda's odd but beautifully positioned and danced jets, rverences, and arabesques deserve bravas and applause. Pair this with Mary Jane Auch's Peeping Beauty (Holiday, 1993) and Elizabeth Winthrop's Dumpy La Rue (Holt, 2001) for a fine picture-book performance.-Susan Pine, New York Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.