Little Diva

Little Diva

4.0 1
by Brian Pinkney, LaChanze
     
 

Curtain up! Light the lights!

Nena wants to be a Diva—with a capital D—just like her mommy, who's a star on Broadway. She wants to sing and act and dance, but knows it will take lots of work—and lots of fun—for all her wishes to come true.

Tony Award-winning actress LaChanze and Caldecott Honoree Brian Pinkney present a showstopping story

Overview

Curtain up! Light the lights!

Nena wants to be a Diva—with a capital D—just like her mommy, who's a star on Broadway. She wants to sing and act and dance, but knows it will take lots of work—and lots of fun—for all her wishes to come true.

Tony Award-winning actress LaChanze and Caldecott Honoree Brian Pinkney present a showstopping story about a day in the life of a little diva with BIG Broadway dreams.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Stage actress LaChanze and Caldecott Honor artist Pinkney (Duke Ellington) shine a glowing spotlight on a “Diva-in-Training,” whose role model is her Broadway star mother. Loose, wispy black line art with pastel-toned washes playfully convey Nena’s constant motion and exuberance as she describes her day. At home she tries on her mother’s clothes and practices yoga with her, but more than anything Nena loves to accompany her mother to the theater for a matinee. Nena plays her own behind-the-scenes roles, trying on wigs (a montage has her resembling everyone from Elvis to one of the Supremes), helping a guitar player tune up, calling for actors to take their places, and imitating her mother’s on-stage bow from the wings (“Mommy says a real diva never bows too long, but I could bow forever”). LaChanze highlights both the glamour and the drawbacks of a diva’s life—Nena regretfully watches her mother return to the theater without her—but readers will recognize that, with a loving mother and grandmother, Nena is indeed “on her way.” An accompanying CD features a song and reading by LaChanze. Ages 4-8. (May)
From the Publisher

“This sparkling story of a show-biz hopeful--and family bonds--will inspire your young star to dream big.” —Working Mother

“All young ones who dream of dressing up and performing will find a kindred spirit in Nena. This should play to sold-out audiences.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“LaChanze, a star of stage and screen herself, supplies a peek at the life of a Broadway performer in this enticing story about a girl's dream of one day conquering the Great White Way. … Youngsters, girls in particular, will pore over the pictures and imagine themselves right into the story. Look out America–this book is sure to increase its numbers of D.I.T.s [Divas in Training].” —School Library Journal

“Imagine a triple billing of Fancy Nancy, Olivia, and Eloise, and you'll have a sense of the energy, ambition, and sheer (yet still-to-be-fully-honed) talent of Little Diva. Her creator, a Tony Award–winning actress, has produced a realistic and endearing character who dreams of taking to the stage like her mother, a Broadway star, with whom she lives in a loving home that includes her grandmother and dog.” —Booklist

“Loose, wispy black line art with pastel-toned washes playfully convey Nena's constant motion and exuberance as she describes her day.” —Publishers Weekly

School Library Journal
PreS-K—LaChanze, a star of stage and screen herself, supplies a peek at the life of a Broadway performer in this enticing story about a girl's dream of one day conquering the Great White Way. Nena relates her activities from morning to night as she works as a "D.I.T.—Diva-in-Training." After trying on her mother's clothes, dancing and singing about the house, and watching her mother practice her yoga, the two spend the afternoon at the theater, where the woman is the star. Readers get a glimpse of backstage life as Nena visits with the crew, tries on wigs in the costume department, "helps" the musicians tune up, and then watches the show from the sidelines. That evening, she drifts off to sleep, stardust in her eyes. Pinkney catches the mood with sprawling thick black lines and swirling soft hues of pink, lavender, blue, and tawny, bringing a breezy lightness that fits this upbeat tale. Swathes of colors back various-sized type, giving voice to Nena's excitement: "WOW," "IT'S SHOWTIME," "YOU ARE AMAZING." Youngsters, girls in particular, will pore over the pictures and imagine themselves right into the story. Look out America—this book is sure to increase its numbers of D.I.T.s.—Barbara Elleman, Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, MA
Kirkus Reviews
An award-winning combo, she of the Tony and he of the ALA variety, perform a spirited duet of words and pictures in which Nena, the "D.I.T.-that's a Diva-in-Training," narrates a day in her life. Mommy is a Broadway star, and Nana shares their home. "Divas in Training" dress and move with style, vocalize and on matinee days get to hang out backstage at the theater trying on costumes and assisting the stage manager. Family love and affection is strong, especially when Mommy leaves for the evening performance with many kisses for Nena and Nana tucks her into bed. Pinkney's art swirls about in black lines adorned with yellows, pinks and blues, infusing each page with an infectious upbeat. The swooping lines effectively evoke the bundle of energy that is Nena and the excitement of live performance. All young ones who dream of dressing up and performing will find a kindred spirit in Nena. This should play to sold-out audiences. Accompanying CD read and sung by the author not heard. (Picture book. 3-7)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312370107
Publisher:
Feiwel & Friends
Publication date:
05/11/2010
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
1,138,717
Product dimensions:
9.44(w) x 11.28(h) x 0.37(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Read an Excerpt

Mommy says a real diva NEVER bows too long, but I could bow forever.

I imagine the day when the audience will clap for me.

They’ll say, “Nena, we love you. Diva! You are amazing!”

But I have a long way to go before that day.

Videos

Meet the Author

LACHANZE, an award-winning star of stage, film, and television, won a Tony Award for best leading actress in The Color Purple. Her numerous credits on Broadway include The Wiz, Once on this Island, Ragtime, Company, and Dessa Rose. She lives in Westchester, New York, with her husband and their three children.

BRIAN PINKNEY is an award-winning artist of several acclaimed books for children, including Duke Ellington, Hush, Little Baby, and The Faithful Friend. His many awards include two Caldecott Honors, four Coretta Scott King Honors and a Coretta Scott King Award, and the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award. He lives with his wife and their two children in Brooklyn, New York.

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Little Diva 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Sue_Corbett More than 1 year ago
I have a little diva myself so when we read this together I omitted the fact that author is in fact a real Broadway star -- my diva would have been SO jealous! Nena wants to follow in the footsteps of her glamorous mother so she is working hard: Doing her vocal warm-ups and yoga stretches at home, and testing out the wigs, make-up, and costumes backstage at her mother's workplace. In general, trying on this particular career for size comes across as one ton of little girl fun. The characters shine here (I especially like the no-nonsense grandmother and the faithful dog) as does Pinkney's loopy, atmospheric artwork. There is not really a lot of story, just the quotidian details of one day in one lucky little girl's existence. There is a lovely emotional moment when mom has to go back to work just as Nena is getting ready for bed. They do a "no nightmares" pas de deux to ward off bad dreams. All in all, a lovely book that lifts the curtain back for star-struck young readers.