THE MAGIC BALLET SHOES
by Darcey Russell, Author
and Katie May, Illustrator
Delphie is amazed when she is invited to join the famous ballet
Written by Prima Ballerinca Darcey Russell and beautifully illustrated by Katie May, this is indeed a dream book for every little girl who ever dreams of being a ballet dancer!
Submitted to Harper Collins Children’s Books by Karen Haney, March, 2009
First five people to comment below telling me the name of the ballet school teacher will have an extra entry in the Awesome April Audio Giveaway!
NICHOLAS, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?
by Leo Lionni
A group of field mice are upset when they can never find any berries because the birds always take them. The mice are only left with the rotten or unripened berries. Nicholas, one of the mice, decides to go in search for a patch of berries where no birds have been or can find it. However, Nicholas finds himself in a large open field when a big black bird flies over and swoops down and takes him away. Nicholas, however, is a very strong and smart mouse and he wiggles and twists until the bird loses his grip and let’s go and Nicholas falls into a bird’s next. The baby birds are very nice to him and tell him stories and invite him to stay.
When the mother bird comes home with worms, the baby birds introduce Nicholas and she says he can stay. When she finds out he loves berries, she flies off and brings him the sweetest berry every! This continues until one morning when Nicholas wakes up and finds the nest full of wonderful berries but all the birds are gone. They have grown up and flown away from their baby nest.
Nicholas carefully gets out of the tree and there below are his mice friends. They are so relieved to see him but when they hear where he was, they don’t let him finish his story and they start shouting and imagine an attack on the birds. Nicholas quickly sets them straight and tells them how good the birds were. Then the birds Nicholas met in the nest fly up and they have brought berries for all the mice and from then on they are great friends.
Leo Lionni who not only wrote but illustrated this book that has been beautifully reprinted in 2007, but was written in 1987, died in 1999 at the age of eighty-nine. He was well known for his work including many awards even the Caldecott Honor Book medal for several of his books. NICHOLAS, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? is a wonderful story to be read to little ones. There are, however, a couple of pictures that might be disturbing for very young children. The large black bird swooping down to get Nicholas might scare little ones. Also, when the mice imagine what they want to do with the birds, they are depicted with long sharp sticks going after the birds and actually piercing some of them. I would recommend the story be read to little ones for the good lesson on getting along with everyone and not prejudging people, but would caution about the pictures until they are a bit older to understand that it was only in the mice’s imagination.
Submitted to Curled Up with a Good Kid's Book by Karen Haney, February, 2009