Ballerina Bear by Shana Corey
Reviewed by Caryl and Charon, Mother and Daughter
One afternoon, I sat down with my three-year-old daughter, Charon, to read Shana Corey's picture book, Ballerina Bear. The sweet story and the delightful illustrations had both of us rooting for Bernice right away. (She dreams of being a ballerina, but is awfully clumsy, poor thing.) As we read her story together, I asked Charon why Bernice looked sad in one picture. Charon said, "She need Ballerina Bear!"
Sure enough, Bertram entered the story shortly after that. Bertram is a stunning dancer, but he's so perfect that his performances are just plain boring. Audiences even fall asleep while watching him! Charon and I agreed that Bertram needed a Ballerina Bear, too.
Bernice and Bertram meet, and genuinely like and admire each other. They decide to become dancing partners. Their first performance together has the audience going wild as Bertram "leaps" and Bernice "lumps." On the last page, they are both smiling at each other. I asked Charon what Bernice was happy about now, and Charon gave me a knowing grin. "Bertram," she said.
Then she flipped back a few pages, and pointed to a picture of Bernice dancing with a fan. "I want to do that!" she announced, adding, "Where's a fan?" My Bernice did a sweet mix of leaping and lumping that afternoon, dancing proudly with the blue and red fan I made for her.
• Ballerina Bear at Amazon.com
• Ballerina Bear at Amazon.ca (Canada)
• Ballerina Bear at Amazon.UK