Friday, October 18, 2013

Vampirina Ballerina - a book review

Quote of the Day:

"The best of the book is not the
thought which it contains, but the
thought which it suggests; just as
the charm of music dwells not in
the tones but in the echoes of our
                    ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Title:  Vampirina Ballerina
Author:  Anne Marie Pace
Illustrator:  LeUyen Pham
Ages:  2-6

This is a fun book about an adorable, loveable little vampirette who longingly dreams to become a dancer.  She hangs posters of dancers over her coffin and her headstone is completed with quotes about dancing.  She spends so much time dancing around the house that her mother and father decide it's time to starting classes.  She does have challenges to overcome.  She first of all has to chose a night class.  She has to figure out how to perfect her form when she is unable to see herself in any of the mirrors.  She has to resist the urge to take a little nip out of the other dancers and worst of all she has to conquer her Stage Fright!   Oh my, what is a goth girl supposed to do?  She is instructed not to show her fangs  and always to get a good night's sleep.  She is a fortunate little vampire because she has the full support of her family which is made up of ghouls and monsters.  She focuses, is unwavering, and works very hard towards achieving her goal and executing an amazing debut performance, making friends along the way.

Although the main character is a vampire, the book is not scary at all.  The two themes that run through the book are:  reach your dreams through perseverance, never, ever give up, and the book shows you how to deal with your feelings of inadequacy and insecurity when you are an outsider trying to fit in to mainstream despite your obvious uniqueness.

The illustrations are charming, simple, expressive and cartoon-like.  The illustrator, herself an immigrant from Vietnam, knows how hard it is to assimilate into a new lifestyle. She takes the colours  black, white and pink and then adds sparkles which adds such luxury and fun to them.  The illustrations are pure perfection and dove-tail exactly with the text.

Vampirina learns that, "Even without wings, you can leap higher than you think."

About the author:

About the illustrator:

LeUyen Pham is an avid baker herself. Her favorite cake to make is tourteau fromager, or French cheesecake (though she still hasn't mastered it yet!). LeUyen is the author and illustrator of All the Things I Love About You and Big Sister, Little Sister. She has illustrated many other picture books, including the New York Times bestsellers Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio and Freckleface Strawberry by Julianne Moore. She lives with her husband and young cake-loving sons in San Francisco, California.

Book Review rating:    8  (Fantastic!)

Read on and read always.  Have a wonderful Friday and comments are always welcome.

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