Book Review–Dogs Don’t Do Ballet

Anna Kemp, Ill. Sara Ogilvie.  Dogs Don’t Do Ballet.  Simon & Schuster.  (2010).

Have you ever met someone who was different?  Someone who wants to do something more than just what is expected of them?  Well, you’re about to meet someone like that–a dog, in fact, named Biff.  Biff doesn’t do regular “dog stuff” like drinking out of the toilet.  No, Biff fantasizes about donning a tutu and seeing his name up in lights at the ballet.  But every time he tries to pursue his dream, he hears the dreaded phrase, “Dogs don’t do ballet!”

This book is an adorable tale of being different, and of real, accepting friendship.  The illustrations are rendered in fine lines, and the colors are vivid.  Biff is brilliantly drawn, with expressions that make the reader very sympathetic to his plight.  A fun feature of the book is that when the speaker (a little girl who takes ballet classes) is on her way to ballet class, she feels that she is being followed.  Meanwhile, the illustrations depict Biff concealing himself behind a newspaper and hiding in other clever ways.

Children ages 4-8 will love searching for Biff while hearing his tale of believing in himself and never giving up.  I LOVE this book!



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