Belinda, the Ballerina

( 1 )


Once there was a ballerina named Belinda. Belinda loved to dance, but she had two big problems: her left foot and her right foot. When people made fun of her, Belinda decided to give up dance forever. But what will she do without it? With her determination and spirit, she finds a way to continue doing what she loves best. Belinda takes center stage in this charming story in which the size of her feet is rivaled only by the size of her heart.

When Belinda auditions ...

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Once there was a ballerina named Belinda. Belinda loved to dance, but she had two big problems: her left foot and her right foot. When people made fun of her, Belinda decided to give up dance forever. But what will she do without it? With her determination and spirit, she finds a way to continue doing what she loves best. Belinda takes center stage in this charming story in which the size of her feet is rivaled only by the size of her heart.

When Belinda auditions for the Spring Ballet Recital and the judges tell her she can not be a ballerina because her feet are too big, she tries to forget about dancing.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times
[The Book] has a story and real spirit, and its stylized and varied gouache illustrations are consistently amusing. Encountering it is like beginning to dance after endless afternoons of exercises. — Adam Liptak
Publishers Weekly
Belinda is every inch the ballerina, except for her immensely long feet. In a starred review, PW wrote, "Shades of candy pink, canary yellow and cobalt blue set an optimistic backdrop for this tale of just deserts and an irrepressible urge to dance." Ages 3-up. (Feb.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Belinda loves to dance, and she practices diligently. But at the audition for the Ballet Recital, she is jeered off the stage because of her big feet. Discouraged, she gives up dancing to become a waitress. When musicians come to play in the restaurant, Belinda can't help but dance. She is such a hit with the customers that the Maestro from the Grand Metropolitan Ballet comes to see her. Impressed, he invites her to perform on his stage. She is triumphant and happy at last. The predictable, if a bit unbelievable story is lifted above the mundane by Young's oddly delicate but humorous gouache visualization of our heroine. Slim, almost anorexic but graceful, she has to deal with her grotesque feet. The scenes are varied and uncluttered, but provide enough context to set the stages for Belinda to dance upon. Faces are simplified almost to caricature, but appealing Belinda holds center stage. 2002, Viking/Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers,
— Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Belinda wants to be a ballerina. Unfortunately, she has "two big problems"-two very big feet. The snooty judges for the Annual Ballet Recital at the Grand Metropolitan Ballet simply cannot barre the sight. Belinda hangs up her lovely pink tutu and changes careers, becoming a waitress at Fred's Fine Food. Then one day, when a band shows up at the eatery, Belinda hears the music and heeds her calling. She flies through the air enchanting the customers, who pass the word on to the Maestro of the ballet. Belinda now shines on stage, dancing so grandly to the music of the band that no one notices her feet, and the judges insist that they have discovered her. Bowing with her arms full of roses, Belinda "didn't care a fig." This cheerful story, illustrated in gouache, may not be grounded in the realities of performance life, but it is amusing and hopefully will strike a chord with children who love to move but who are not perfectly proportioned. The artwork swirls about in bright blues, pinks, and purples while the page layout and Belinda's odd but beautifully positioned and danced jet s, r verences, and arabesques deserve bravas and applause. Pair this with Mary Jane Auch's Peeping Beauty (Holiday, 1993) and Elizabeth Winthrop's Dumpy La Rue (Holt, 2001) for a fine picture-book performance.-Susan Pine, New York Public Library Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Face the facts, Belinda has a problem, in fact, "two big problems: her left foot and her right foot." Tall, thin Belinda is a talented teenage dancer, but her feet are far too large for her to advance in dance. (Her yard-long, pink pointe shoes are nearly as long as her legs.) In Young's first published work, she imbues her starring character with confidence and good sense as well as talent, which shows in the illustrations as well as the text. Belinda doesn't bemoan her fate; she just gets on with life. When three scary-looking audition judges (with the delicious names of Sir Fostercheese the Third, George Peach Crumbcake, and Winona Busywitch) tell Belinda she will never be a dancer because of her feet, she hangs up her pointe shoes and tutu and gets a job in a restaurant. But talent will find a way, and Belinda works her way up to dancing nightly at the restaurant with a jazz trio. There she is discovered and makes the leap to stardom at the Grand Metropolitan Ballet, with the same clueless critics now applauding her performance. Belinda is just happy to be dancing, and "as for the judges, she didn't care a fig!" Young shows considerable potential in both her lively gouache paintings and her restrained, polished prose that captures the heart of a dancer. In a rather crowded corps de ballet of recent dance titles for children, Belinda stands out for more than her big feet. (Picture book. 3-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142402726
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/28/2005
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 696,706
  • Age range: 3 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.55 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.10 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2003


    Most young girls have dreams, and Belinda has an ambitious one - she wanted to be a ballerina. More than anything else in the world she wanted to dance. It was what she loved, and she practiced very hard. At last the time came for her to try out for the Annual Ballet Recital. How disappointed she was when she wasn't even allowed to try out because the judges all said her feet were too big. That would never do for a ballerina. Belinda was disconsolate, but she pulled herself together and tried to forget about dancing. She found a job at Fred's Fine Food. She liked her job, and the customers all liked Belinda because she was a quick waitress and very light on her feet. One day, quite by accident, a band that played snappy, upbeat tunes came to play at Fred's. Belinda just couldn't help herself - before she knew it she was tapping her toes, and then, suddenly, she was dancing! When Fred saw this he asked Belinda if she would dance for the customers. Of course, she said. Customers came; they brought their friends. Soon, Fred's was full of people who loved to watch Belinda dance. Word of this phenomenon reached the Maestro from the Grand Metropolitan Ballet. Young readers will be delighted to discover what happens next. Amy Young has written a sweet story to remind all of us that dreams can come true.

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