Honk!: The Story of a Prima Swanerina


A ballet-loving swan wins acclaim when she manages to join the other dancers in a performance of Swan Lake.

A ballet-loving swan wins acclaim when she manages to join the other dancers in a performance of Swan Lake.

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A ballet-loving swan wins acclaim when she manages to join the other dancers in a performance of Swan Lake.

A ballet-loving swan wins acclaim when she manages to join the other dancers in a performance of Swan Lake.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Dr. Judy Rowen
Mimi drives her friends crazy, crashing into the pond in perfect 'en pointe' ballet pose. One night the curious swan landed on the Paris Opera House ledge and observed a performance. Now she is in love with ballet. Determined to see a performance, she attempts to enter the Opera House, only to be rebuffed by an outraged stage manager. Finally, during a performance of Swan Lake (of course!), Mimi sneaks in the stage door entrance. An endearing heroine and humorous paintings engage the reader.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Mimi the swan drives her friends to distraction with her love of ballet. Whirling around the pond en pointe, she practices every day. Then she glimpses a production of Swan Lake from her observation point on a ledge of the Paris Opera House. "They're all pretending to be me," she cries and resolves to see the production from inside the theater. Mimi tries to sneak in several times but is repeatedly sent away. When she finds the stage door and manages to "enter right" with the cygnets, she's a hit with both the theater and picture-book audiences. Notable composition, effective use of light and shadow, and the swan's-eye perspective amplify the contrast between the stuffy ballet-goers and the unaffected swan. Full-color, double-page spreads show Mimi fleeing a pompous manager with her head snagged under a gentleman's black opera cloak. Comical elongated human figures, reminiscent of the work of Audrey Wood, boost the effect. Buoyant tongue-in-cheek language ("`Great costume' whispered one of the dancers."), lively illustrations, and a winsome heroine make Honk! an irresistible choice for storytime and independent reading.-Carolyn Noah, Central Mass. Regional Library System, Worcester, MA
Kirkus Reviews
After peering in the window at the Paris Opera House, Mimi the swan is smitten with ballet. She drives the ducks and geese crazy at the local watering hole with her arabesques and pirouettes and big splashy landings. When she glimpses a production of Swan Lake through the same window, she's thrilled. "They're all pretending to be me!" she exclaims. She makes several attempts to watch the whole production from inside the opera house, but the manager keeps throwing her out. When she slips in the stage door behind a tardy ballerina, Mimi gets to perform the entire show. She's such a hit that even the manager asks her back. Edwards's tongue-in-cheek text pokes gentle fun at self-absorbed prima ballerinas, while Cole's bold full-bleed paintings add a wealth of humorous detail. Particularly funny are the disapproving expressions on the faces of birds and balletomanes alike, and scenes of Mimi with her short skinny legs, large feathered chest, and haughty demeanor. (Picture book. 4-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786812981
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 9/30/2000
  • Edition description: 1 PBK ED
  • Pages: 32
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Pamela Duncan Edwards (www.pameladuncanedwards.net) grew up in northern England and now lives in the Washington, D.C. area with her husband and two sons. Her father wrote children's stories for magazines in England and his love of children's literature was a huge influence on her. Pamela taught preschool for eleven years in England before becoming a children's librarian when she moved to the United States. Because of her teaching background, Pamela's books present early learning concepts and use many literary devices, but also entertain as they teach. She believes laughter is a great learning tool. For more than a decade Pamela has wowed audiences with a wealth of winning tales and continues to inspire young ones to read.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2000

    i love this book!!

    they read this book at my daughters summer reading program. maybe it was the sleep deprivation or the air conditioning, but i was moved to tears by this heart touching story of a swan who achieves her dream. it is just a good book.

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