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Tuesday, October 13
Dance! Dance! Underpants!
(Ballet Cat book)
Written and illustrated by Bob Shea
My rating: ★★★★½
Date of publication: February 2, 2016
Age: 5 - 8 years
Themes: dancing, friendship, shyness, underwear, performing
Ballet Cat is getting her friend Butter Bear ready for her big ballet debut. "Leap, Butter Bear, leap!" Ballet Cat prompts. But Butter Bear would prefer to just point her toe. When Ballet Cat keeps pushing, Butter Bear gets hungry, then thirsty, then sleepy...The bottom line is that Butter Bear would rather do almost anything to avoid making a big leap. Why? Because people will see her underpants!
I admit, I enjoyed the first Ballet Cat book and wondered how this next one would compare. Turns out, it's even better! They fixed my main complaint of too many changing colors (pages, text bubbles, characters) and kept a more consistent color scheme. The color of the text bubble matches the character's color that is speaking throughout the book. The background colors still change, but are consistent through each scene.
The story itself is hilarious. I laughed out loud repeatedly. And the illustrations--they really helped the story with emotions and some spreads of text-less events. For beginning readers, the vocabulary and concepts are slightly more challenging, but I still recommend it to those just learning to read for the same reason I recommend Elephant & Piggie: it's great for understanding the emotions and character voice in text.
Overally, the humor will really appeal to its target audience (obvious, I mean, it's underwear!) and I appreciate the character voice. It didn't quite get the full five stars because the color choices are still rather vibrant (and sometimes distracting). But really, I do love them. Obviously, I was more excited about this second one than I realized, since I'm reviewing it well in advance of the release date. Basically, take this as an opportunity to go read the first one (if you haven't), read other Bob Shea books, or anxiously await this newest installment.
Pre-order now on Amazon
Or wait for it at your library
(Digital ARC provided through NetGalley)