Friday, October 17, 2008

Sugar Plum Ballerinas Whoopi Goldberg Deborah UnderWood Maryn Roos

Sugar Plum Ballerinas #1: Plum Fantastic by Whoopi Goldberg , co authored by Deborah Underwood illustrated by Maryn Roos. When I heard Whoopi Goldberg had a children's book coming out, the first thing I thought was oh great another celebrity book. I was so wrong I love Sugar Plum Ballerinas. Its a great book. The first thing I noticed when I picked up Sugar Plum Ballerinas, there wasn't a picture of Whoopi Goldberg any where on the book. I turned the book around three or four times still no celebrity photo. I was like WHAT! Thats a first, very nice.
Alexandrea Petrakova Johnson and her mother are moving from Georgia to New York. Alexandrea's mother loves the ballet (hence the middle name) and wants her daughter to love it. Alexandrea will be taking ballet at a Harlem Dance school. Alexandria dreams of becoming a speed skater not a ballerina. She quickly makes friends at dance school. Epatha who is constantly speaking in three languages, since she is part Italian and Puerto Rican. Brenda who talks backwards because Da Vinci did and wants to become a doctor. Terrel a great dancer. Goldberg's created very interesting, charming and funny characters. The ballet class will be putting on a play, Alexandrea is chosen as the Sugar Plum Fairy. Alexandrea is not happy about getting the lead, her new friends are jealous and she can't spin without getting dizzy. In the end everything is resolved. Goldberg's written a great story. Maryn Roos illustrations are very nice, each girl has an individual look. Roos also does a great job of creating the church hats Alexandrea's mom is famous for. Young girls will love the Sugar Plum Ballerina series. Its definitely reluctant reader friendly. Ballet fans will love all the dance references like barre, grand battlement and grand jete. There's a guide to ballet terms at the end of the story. Alexandrea has posters of famous African American ballet dancers on her bedroom walls Maria Tallchief Virginia Johnson and Janet Collins.

Time to share

Alexandrea talks to a mover
After I packed all my ballet stuff up I told one of the muscle men movers it would be okay if they lost that particular box. I even wrote lose this box on the side in purple felt pen in case they forgot. But when Aunt Jackie dropped us off at our apartment on 123st there it was, right on top of the mountain of moving boxes in our living room

Alexandrea walks into new dance class for the 1st time
The waiting room gets quiet when I walk in. A few girls sitting near the door snicker. I hang my jacket on one of the hooks lining the wall, head to the bench farthest from the snickering girls, and start to sit down. Then I remember the lighting bolts on my behind, they make a weird crinkling sound when you sit on them. I stay standing.

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