Tuesday, April 14

Ballet Cat: The Totally Secret Secret

Ballet Cat: The Totally Secret Secret
Bob Shea

My rating: ★★★★

ISBN: 978-1484713785
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Date of publication: May 5, 2015
Age: 5 - 8 years

Themes: friendship, boredom, secrets, selflessness

Ballet Cat and Sparkles the Pony are trying to decide what to play today. Nothing that Sparkles suggests—making crafts, playing checkers, and selling lemonade—goes well with the leaping, spinning, and twirling that Ballet Cat likes to do. But when Sparkles's leaps, spins, and twirls seem halfhearted, Ballet Cat asks him what's wrong. Sparkles doesn't want to say. He has a secret that Ballet Cat won't want to hear. What Sparkles doesn't know is that Ballet Cat has a secret of her own, a totally secret secret. Once their secrets are shared, will their friendship end, or be stronger than ever?

Now, you should all know by now the absolute, undying love I have for the Elephant & Piggie books by Mo Willems. So this? This was an easy choice because they really are similar. I laughed out loud repeatedly. I loved the emotion conveyed through both the illustrations and text (and text format). And I love the message of friendship it shares. It's a fantastic story.

The only reason it didn't quite get the same high mark was the colors used throughout. Each page's background color, the text bubble's color, and even the characters themselves change color on just about every page. It was very distracting and takes away from the continuity of the story. But such is Bob Shea. Also, I fear that it might be bigger draw for girls—or their parents, if you know what I mean. But still, I give it a high recommendation.

Read alikes include, obviously, Elephant & Piggie, but also other friendship-based readers like Frog and Toad or the lesser-known Hippo & Rabbit (which is completely adorable).

Pre-Order now on Amazon!
...or wait for it at your library

(Digital ARC provided through NetGalley)

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