Our latest library favorite, is Brontorina by James Howe, illustrated by Randy Cecil. It’s a book for everyone as it’s got dinosaurs and ballet and a feel good story.
Brontorina Apatosaurus is a big dino with a big dream. She loves ballet dancing. She shows up at a Madame Lucille’s Dance Academy for Boys and Girls and the instructor while a little unsure is willing to let dance. Most of the other students are concerned with her size and lack of appropriate footwear, but she is encouraged by two fellow dancers and one child’s mother who shows up at a critical moment with a welcome surprise that wins everyone over. In the end, Madame’s artistic sensibility overcomes convention and she reopens her studio outdoors where anyone regardless of size or animal kingdom may participate. I adore Madame Lucille’s general attitude. She is matter-of-fact and just slightly aloof and her directions are just the sort you would expect from a ballet instructor…firmness tempered by love of ballet. She agrees with Brontorina that her name indeed sounds just like a dancer and she is welcome, but to “please try not to squash the other students.”
We love the story, and the illustrations are cute. They’re not especially beautiful, but are sweet and engaging and assist the story-telling very well. Be sure to look out for all of Brontorina’s talent on your next library trip!