Saturday 2 October 2010

Dogs Don’t Do Ballet

Dogs Don’t Do Ballet by Anna Kemp, illustrated by Sara Ogilvie (Simon & Schuster)
PB RRP $14.99
ISBN 9781847384744
Reviewed by Di Bates

Billy Elliot was well known for his dancing. Less well known is Biff, a white dog with a dark patch over its right eye. Biff doesn’t do the usual dog things, like weeing on lamp posts: he’s bred for the finer things in life such as enjoying music and walking on his tiptoes. And, oh yes, his life dream is to become a ballerina with his name in lights!

Biff belongs to a small girl who is learning ballet, and of course Biff wishes he could learn as well. The girl doesn’t see Biff as he sneaks after her on her way to dancing class. When Biff tries to join the class, he is turned away by Miss Polly, the teacher. Consequently Biff falls into depression and refuses to eat. However, when the girl goes to ballet, Biff finds an opportunity to fulfill his dreams.

What small girl who loves dogs and dancing and has an active imagination wouldn’t be amused, even entranced by this charming picture book created by first time author and illustrator, both from the UK? The text is tightly written and well paced, while the book design and colourful illustrations lend themselves to page turning. Ideal for girls aged four to eight years of age.

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