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Jake the Ballet Dog
     

Jake the Ballet Dog

3.6 3
by Karen LeFrak, Marcin Baranski (Illustrator)
 

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Jake still loves the sounds of the orchestra, but this week he's staying with Allegra, a prima ballerina at the ballet. When she takes Jake behind the scenes of her rehearsals for The Nutcracker, he loves twirling and whirling with the dancers. Jake is dazzled by the sparkling treats and beautiful fairies and has so much fun that he can't help but join in on

Overview

Jake still loves the sounds of the orchestra, but this week he's staying with Allegra, a prima ballerina at the ballet. When she takes Jake behind the scenes of her rehearsals for The Nutcracker, he loves twirling and whirling with the dancers. Jake is dazzled by the sparkling treats and beautiful fairies and has so much fun that he can't help but join in on the dress rehearsal. Pretty soon, he's mastered his arabesque and pirouette, but when it comes time for opening night, Jake will have to stay backstage. Watching from the wings can be just as fun, and if he's good, Jake will get to take his own special bow.

Jake's new adventure will encourage children's love of the arts through the story of this beloved ballet.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Carly Reagan
The well-known tale of The Nutcracker is told in a new way, through the eyes of Jake, a little black dog with a taste for fine arts. Jake's owner, a ballerina, brings him along to her dress rehearsal for The Nutcracker, and the tale is told as Jake watches, occasionally interrupting in the way that only a dog can: to bark at the Mouse King and to join Clara and her nutcracker doll on the comfy couch on stage. He even picks up a few ballet steps of his own! Flat illustrations accompany the story, giving it the feeling that the characters are plastic figurines rather than people, each page featuring a brightly colored background that is somewhat distracting. Proper ballet terms are used throughout the book, with a glossary in the back for the non-dancing reader. Though children uninterested in dance may not be particularly interested in the tale, for the ballet- or dog-lover, it is an enjoyable read. Reviewer: Carly Reagan
School Library Journal

K-Gr 3

Jake, the canine protagonist in Jake the Philharmonic Dog (Walker, 2006), is introduced to a New York City ballet company as it gets ready for its annual performance of TheNutcracker at Lincoln Center. Readers get glimpses of the beloved ballet as Jake interferes with the company's rehearsals, but the book is really more about ballet in general than it is about The Nutcracker in particular. The stylish illustrations show the work of the improbably patient ballet master and the dancers as they try to resist the irrepressible pooch's efforts to join them onstage.-Virginia Walter, University of California, Los Angeles

Kirkus Reviews
LeFrak and Baranski team up again for their second story about Jake the terrier, who previously learned about the orchestra in Jake the Philharmonic Dog (2006). This time Jake is staying with a ballerina named Allegra who is starring as the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker. Allegra discovers that Jake can leap and twirl and bow like a dancer, so she takes him along to her ballet class and to a dress rehearsal. Jake learns a few ballet steps and terms in class and then interacts with the cast as the rehearsal proceeds. Professional ballet terms and the characters and plot of The Nutcracker are skillfully woven into Jake's story, introducing both the art of the dance and the most popular and frequently performed ballet in the United States. The large format and Baranski's polished paintings in saturated colors bring the beloved story to life, with well-designed pages that incorporate the complexity of performance. Two final pages compile all the ballet terms into a glossary cleverly titled "Foot Notes." (Picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802796585
Publisher:
Walker & Company
Publication date:
10/14/2008
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
10.10(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Karen LeFrak is the author of Jake the Philharmonic Dog. An avid dog lover, she breeds and shows champion poodles. She is also an accomplished pianist and currently composes. Karen is married to Richard LeFrak, president of the LeFrak Organization, and they have two sons, Harrison and James. Together they divide their time between Manhattan and Southampton with their flock of poodles. Karen will be donating her proceeds from this book to the American Ballet Theatre and the New York City Ballet.

Marcin Baranski still doesn't own a dog, even after illustrating both of Jake's adventures. He has illustrated for Cosmopolitan magazine and is also a fine artist. Marcin lives in Krakow, Poland, with his wife and two sons.

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3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
GailCooke More than 1 year ago
Jake the Ballet Dog? What an unlikely title! But, that's okay because this is an unlikely story, which is probably one reason why youngsters will thoroughly enjoy it.

Allegra, a prima ballerina, is taking care of her friend's dog, Jake. Now, Jake looks quie like an ordinary dog - his heritage is questionable, he's black with several white paws and an active tail. However, Jake does have some unique sensibilities. Since Allegra is in the midst of rehearsals for The Nutcracker ballet, she takes Jake to the studio with her. Little did anyone suspect that he would be so enthusiastic about ballet. As the dancers warm up, Jake also assumes a position.

It's not long before Allegra is showing him off to the other dancers by tossing his toys so that he leaps for them, and standing on his hind legs for a cracker reward. Well, all of this is fun during rehearsals but what might Jake do during an actual performance?

Youngsters will not only like the story line but will also learn a bit about ballet, such as some common words - arabesque, pirouette, en pointe, etc. Of course, the endearing story of The Nutcracker complete with the prince and the Sugar Plum Fairy always entrances. Artist Marcin Baranski gives credit to New York City Ballet's production of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker as inspiration for her artwork. The book also includes a glossary of terms.

It's a treat to come across a children's book that not only entertains and amuses but also educates.

- Gail Cooke