Pamela Duncan Edwards (www.pameladuncanedwards.net) grew up in northern England and now lives in the Washington, D.C. area with her husband and two sons. Her father wrote children's stories for magazines in England and his love of children's literature was a huge influence on her. Pamela taught preschool for eleven years in England before becoming a children's librarian when she moved to the United States. Because of her teaching background, Pamela's books present early learning concepts and use many literary devices, but also entertain as they teach. She believes laughter is a great learning tool. For more than a decade Pamela has wowed audiences with a wealth of winning tales and continues to inspire young ones to read.
K-Gr 3-Mimi the swan drives her friends to distraction with her love of ballet. Whirling around the pond en pointe, she practices every day. Then she glimpses a production of Swan Lake from her observation point on a ledge of the Paris Opera House. "They're all pretending to be me," she cries and resolves to see the production from inside the theater. Mimi tries to sneak in several times but is repeatedly sent away. When she finds the stage door and manages to "enter right" with the cygnets, she's a hit with both the theater and picture-book audiences. Notable composition, effective use of light and shadow, and the swan's-eye perspective amplify the contrast between the stuffy ballet-goers and the unaffected swan. Full-color, double-page spreads show Mimi fleeing a pompous manager with her head snagged under a gentleman's black opera cloak. Comical elongated human figures, reminiscent of the work of Audrey Wood, boost the effect. Buoyant tongue-in-cheek language ("`Great costume' whispered one of the dancers."), lively illustrations, and a winsome heroine make Honk! an irresistible choice for storytime and independent reading.-Carolyn Noah, Central Mass. Regional Library System, Worcester, MA