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PreSchool-Grade 2 Howe weaves a well-spun tale about acceptance and pursuing one's dream. When Brontorina Apatosaurus appears at the door of Madame Lucille's Dance Academy for Boys and Girls, she faces what could be sure rejection. Young Clara and Jack tug at Madame to accept her, while naysayers jeer at her lack of proper shoes. Finally, Madame admits Brontorina, and humorous scenes show little boys and girls doing arabesques, relevés, and jetés, while enormous Brontorina gracefully crashes into the ceiling. Madame concludes that the new pupil is just too big. Brontorina turns to leave, a dinosaur-size tear falling from her eye. Then the teacher has a realisation: The problem is not that you are too big. The problem is that my studio is too small, and the academy gets relocated and renamed. A quiet fusion of pathos, comedy, and passion is echoed in the painterly, softly textured, muted oil illustrations. The final picture of the orange dinosaur perched like a bird atop a dancing triceratops, silhouetted against the setting sun, is priceless. Sara Lissa Paulson, American Sign Language and English Lower School PS 347, New York City
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"I have always loved stories about characters who overcome obstacles in order to realize their dreams. once I knew I wanted to write about a dinosaur, the first question was, what impossible thing might this dinosaur want to do? Be a dancer, of course! a ll I needed then was to give her the will -- and the support of others to make her dream come true." James Howe is the acclaimed author of more than eighty books for young readers, including the E. B. White Read Aloud Award-winning Houndsley and Catina and its sequels, as well as the much-lauded series about Bunnicula. He lives in New York State. Randy Cecil has illustrated many books for children, including LOOKING FOR A MOOSE by Phyllis Root, And HERE'S TO YOU! by David Elliott, He is also the author-illustrator of GATOR and DUCK. Randy Cecil lives in Houston.
Text and illustrations work beautifully together in this witty fantasy. . . . speech balloons alternate with narration to tell the story in a fresh, droll manner. In Cecil's arresting oil paintings, the tawny orange dinosaur stands out boldly against slate blue or white backgrounds, and the unusual texture of the paint creates a distinctive effect. Brontorina makes a hugely sympathetic heroine. --Booklist (starred review) The frankly funny illustrations complement Howe's understated text, resulting in a sweet, frothy story, complete with tutus and arabesques, for the little (and big) dreamer in everyone, lightheartedly demonstrating that the sky's the limit, so think big! --Kirkus Reviews A humorous and inspiring tale... a satisfying story that adheres closely to its central message about overcoming obstacles. --Publishers Weekly A delightful story that reminds us to chase our dreams and to help others chase theirs, even if modifications are required --Library Media Connection Young readers will have a ball with James Howe's story of a dinosaur with a big dream. The dancers include both boys and girls...Brontorina is perfect for a classroom visit or a bedtime story...The message remains en pointe: Go for it, even if you don t have the right build. Or the right footwear. --Tampa Tribune A heartwarming tale about holding onto your dreams and never giving up despite ridicule and disappointment Children and parents will love Brontorina's charm and passion. --Fort Worth Star-Telegram