Brontorina

( 2 )

Overview

From the sure-footed duo of James Howe and Randy Cecil comes a hugely endearing new character — in a humorous, heart-warming tale about holding on to your dreams.

Brontorina has a dream. She wants to dance. But Brontorina is rather large — too large to fit in Madame Lucille’s dance studio. Brontorina does not have the right shoes, and everyone knows you can’t dance without the proper footwear. Still, Brontorina knows, deep in her heart, that she is meant to be a ballerina. James...

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Overview

From the sure-footed duo of James Howe and Randy Cecil comes a hugely endearing new character — in a humorous, heart-warming tale about holding on to your dreams.

Brontorina has a dream. She wants to dance. But Brontorina is rather large — too large to fit in Madame Lucille’s dance studio. Brontorina does not have the right shoes, and everyone knows you can’t dance without the proper footwear. Still, Brontorina knows, deep in her heart, that she is meant to be a ballerina. James Howe introduces a lovable dinosaur whose size is outmatched only by her determination, and whose talent is outmatched only by her charm. Accompanied by Randy Cecil’s beguiling illustrations, here is an irresistible story that proves that no problem is too big when the heart and imagination know no bounds.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Howe (Bunnicula) pens a humorous and inspiring tale about a big dinosaur with a big dream: "n my heart," Brontorina says, "I am a ballerina." Thoughtful, white-haired instructor Madame Lucille is willing to give it a try. A rocky transition period (the studio's ceiling takes a lot of punishment) is at last resolved when Madame Lucille moves her classes outdoors, with the promise that Brontorina's struggle will open up the world of ballet to still more candidates--the studio's new sign reads, "Madame Lucille's Outdoor Dance Academy for Girls and Boys and Dinosaurs and Cows." The final page shows a triceratops holding Brontorina high, a silent retort to Madame Lucille's earlier despairing wail: "And how in the world will a male dancer ever lift you over his head?" Cecil (Gator) contributes oil paintings whose simple forms are balanced by sophisticated textures and restrained colors, while he has fun punching up the contrast between the massive Brontorina and her tiny classmates. Meanwhile, asides from the kids provide a string of giggles. It's a satisfying story that adheres closely to its central message about overcoming obstacles. Ages 4-8. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Cynthia Levinson
Brontorina Apatosaurus has a dream: she wants to dance. So she goes to Madame Lucille's Dance Academy for Girls and Boys for lessons. Madame feels it necessary to point out that Brontorina has a problem: she is a dinosaur. And, as some of her pupils add, she is too big and lacks the right shoes. Brontorina, however, is unfazed for, in her heart, she is a dancer. Students Clara and Jack plead her case, and won over, Madame gamely tries to teach the dinosaur to dance. When she directs the class to "releve" however, Brontorina's head crashes through the ceiling. And, though Madame praises her gracefulness, the dinosaur lands on the piano and nearly swipes children with her tail. Furthermore, as Madame sadly realizes, no male dancer could lift her over his head, not even Jack. Just as Brontorina is about to quit, Clara's mother brings hand-sewn dinosaur-sized ballet slippers. With the shoe problem solved, the class sets out to find a larger studio. When neither warehouses nor barns work, Jack proposes holding lessons outdoors. With the school's name changed to Madame Lucille's Outdoor Dance Academy for Girls and Boys and Dinosaurs, everyone who wants to dance is welcome, including a dinosaur big enough to lift Brontorina. Though she is a looming, orange presence, the main character is drawn with the large eyes and plucky demeanor of a small child who has big dreams. With her white hair pulled into a bun, Madame Lucille appears strict but clearly wants everyone to experience the joys of dance. In a minimum of words, this charming book, which will appeal to both boys and girls, tells a witty story with a gentle but essential lesson. Reviewer: Cynthia Levinson
School Library Journal
Gr 2—Howe weaves a well-spun tale about acceptance and pursuing one's dream. When Brontorina Apatosaurus appears at the door of Madame Lucille's Dance Academy for Boys and Girls, she faces what could be sure rejection. Young Clara and Jack tug at Madame to accept her, while naysayers jeer at her lack of proper shoes. Finally, Madame admits Brontorina, and humorous scenes show little boys and girls doing arabesques, relevés, and jetés, while enormous Brontorina gracefully crashes into the ceiling. Madame concludes that the new pupil is just too big. Brontorina turns to leave, a dinosaur-size tear falling from her eye. Then the teacher has a realization: "The problem is not that you are too big. The problem is that my studio is too small," and the academy gets relocated and renamed. A quiet fusion of pathos, comedy, and passion is echoed in the painterly, softly textured, muted oil illustrations. The final picture of the orange dinosaur perched like a bird atop a dancing triceratops, silhouetted against the setting sun, is priceless.—Sara Lissa Paulson, American Sign Language and English Lower School PS 347, New York City
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763653231
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 2/12/2013
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 491,155
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.40 (w) x 10.40 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

"I have always loved stories about characters who overcome obstacles in order to realize their dreams. once I knew I wanted to write about a dinosaur, the first question was, what impossible thing might this dinosaur want to do? Be a dancer, of course! a ll I needed then was to give her the will — and the support of others to make her dream come true."

James Howe is the acclaimed author of more than eighty books for young readers, including the E. B. White Read Aloud Award–winning Houndsley and Catina and its sequels, as well as the much-lauded series about Bunnicula. He lives in New York State.

Randy Cecil has illustrated many books for children, including LOOKING FOR A MOOSE by Phyllis Root, And HERE'S TO YOU! by David Elliott, He is also the author-illustrator of GATOR and DUCK. Randy Cecil lives in Houston.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    WHERE THERE'S A WILL THERE ARE WAYS

    James Howe, the popular children's book author of some 80 books for young readers, has crafted a captivating tale that reminds us of what may happen when we hold fast to our dream.

    Brontorina wants to dance, she wants to become a ballerina. Well, she has all the enthusiasm and determination in the world but not much else. She's way too tall, too big, and too heavy - she's a dinosaur. Where in the world could a dinosaur even find toe shoes?

    Nonetheless, Madame Lucille, proprietor of Madame Lucille's Dance Academy for Boys and Girls, immediately recognizes that Brontorina is a ballerina in her heart and invites her to join the class.

    Well, despite Brontorina's best efforts you can imagine the effect this had on other class members and, goodness, when Brontorina leaped she hit the ceiling. Obviously, the dance studio space was way too small.

    However, as we know for every problem very often there's a solution. Young readers will be delighted to discover how with the help of Madame Lucille and her friends Brontorina is able to make her dream come true.

    Highly recommended.

    - Gail Cooke

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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