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Ballerina Rosie by S. Ferguson

Ferguson, Sarah. Ballerina Rosie. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2012. Print.

The Duchess of York recounts the tale of Rosie Red Curls, a little girl who loves to dance and dreams of becoming a prima ballerina. When her mother takes her to her first ballet lesson, Rosie struggles with the steps and is the least graceful girl in class. Rosie becomes discouraged until one Saturday, she wakes to find a gift of red ballet slippers by her bed. She’s now able to dance beautifully. She thinks it is because of her shoes until her dance teacher tells her that she was always talented, she just needed to practice and build confidence.

At some point, most little girls dream of becoming a famous ballerina and will be drawn to the book. Unfortunately, the story is uninspiring and a bit corny. The stated intended age range is 4 through 8 but the book is much too short and simplistic for most 7 and 8 year olds, though it may still appeal to younger girls. The moral about hard work paying off would likely not come through clearly for young girls. While the illustrations by Diane Goode are colourful and fun, they depict young girls en pointe performing steps that are much too advanced for their age. They are, however, typical ballet poses which is perhaps why they were used. Aspiring ballerinas would be better off reading tales of actual ballets, as Rosie does before bed, and viewing more realistic photographs of dancers.

Not recommended: 1 out of 4 stars
Reviewer: Trish Chatterley

Trish is a Public Services Librarian for the John W. Scott Health Sciences Library at the University of Alberta. In her free time she enjoys dancing, gardening, and reading books of all types.