With a charming cast of characters like flamboyant and gorgeous dance phenom Alec, cruel dance teacher Millicent Moore, singer/songwriter Fletch, mean girls Natasha and Jade, and terrifying martinet Cecile Duke, the plot moves along in a way that is comforting if a little predictable. Fans of Singin’ in the Rain will know exactly where the story is going, but they will enjoy getting there tremendously.
The Disney versions of the fairy tales that most Americans grew up with were not the tales I was used to. The version of Cinderella I grew up with for example, was based on the Brothers Grimm story where the step-sisters each cut off parts of their feet to fit into the glass slipper. Cinderella also exacts vengeance on her sisters, summoning doves to peck out their eyes after her wedding to the prince. Bedtime stories for little children, these were not.
It’s been twenty years since we met those typing cows, and Farmer Brown is tired. (Well. Aren’t we all?) It’s time to unplug and go to sleep. The cows, sheep, and chickens are all ready for bed. Why can’t Duck sleep?
Madeline Finn is a young girl with a big white dog named Star. Is he a lab? Is he a Great Pyrenees? Does it matter? No. He is adorable, and so is she. Madeline is training Star to be a therapy dog. They practice meeting people, sitting still, and meeting other dogs. Then it’s time for Star’s first of three tests at the retirement home. He passes with flying colors.
I’ll Believe You WhenAuthor: Susan SchubertIllustrator: Raquel BonitaLantana Publishing/Lerner BooksAges: 7 to 8 I love idioms. They are probably the most playful part of any
Our hero is a sweet little bear, who one day chances to come across a red balloon. (Why are they always red? If you don’t have “99 Luftballons” in your head, you are not as old as I am.) The bear is enchanted by the simple pleasures of playing with a balloon, and proceeds to show his new playmate his home.
Now that my kids are six, I can look back at their toddlerhood with a nostalgia born of the security of time and distance. This book was a little bit of an unexpected gut punch.
Little e is a cute little letter who knows he is a hero; after all, he comes from a long line of distinguished Es.
Now if only he can prove it. He has his cape at home and dreams of being a hero, but at school no one pays him any attention. Probably because he doesn’t have much to say.
Written in a breezy, conversational style, the book is a quick read, for all its depth. Felix is engaging, appealing, and faces the most appalling adult dilemmas with grit and grace. His plight will be great fodder for discussion in the classroom or around the dinner table.