Miss Lina's Ballerinas
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Miss Lina's Ballerinas

4.8 5
by Grace Maccarone
     
 

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In four rows of two, Miss Lina's eight ballerinas—Christina, Edwina, Sabrina, Justina, Katrina, Bettina, Marina, and Nina—dance to the park, at the zoo, and even while doing their schoolwork. They are one perfect act, but when Miss Lina introduces Regina, a new girl, the group of nine's steps become a mess.

Overview

In four rows of two, Miss Lina's eight ballerinas—Christina, Edwina, Sabrina, Justina, Katrina, Bettina, Marina, and Nina—dance to the park, at the zoo, and even while doing their schoolwork. They are one perfect act, but when Miss Lina introduces Regina, a new girl, the group of nine's steps become a mess.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“An infectiously rhyming text not a little reminiscent of Madeline….Author and illustrator have teamed up for a lovely story about friendship, ballet and grouping numbers. Davenier’s colorful illustrations are filled with humor, movement and lovely shades of pink…young readers, budding ballerinas or not, will enjoy the details of the ballet studio and the joie de vivre of the nine young ladies.”              —  Kirkus Reviews

"...the book is a charmer." — Publishers Weekly

 

Publishers Weekly
In both its pictures and rhyming text, this book is in many ways a ballet-themed version of the Madeline books: "In a cozy white house, in the town of Messina,/ eight little girls studied dance with Miss Lina./ Christina, Edwina, Sabrina, Justina,/ Katrina, Bettina, Marina, and Nina." Davenier (The Very Fairy Princess) is in fine form, with predominantly pink watercolors, accented with crayon, that blend soigné fluidity and slapstick comedy; while some grownups might quibble that her setting looks more Parisian than Sicilian, the spaces have a lyrical expansiveness reminiscent of an MGM musical. Maccarone's (the First Grade Friends series) story, which turns on the arrival of a ninth dancer (helpfully named Regina) who brings chaos to the corps' finely tuned "four lines of two," has a fairly flat narrative arc and near-instant resolution (Miss Lina quickly re-divides the girls into three lines of three). The girls' enthusiasm is undeniably infectious as they dance "t the park, at the zoo, at the beach, and while shopping"; but while the book is a charmer, it's a bit of a letdown in the end. Ages 3–6. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
Like most children's books about young dancers, this tale of eight little girl ballet students in Messina has illustrations dominated by pink, though the endpapers are lavender. Maybe dancers in Italy wear pink tutus in class, but serious dance students will know that leotards of various colors are more the thing. Though here it's meant to be amusing and affectionate, the earned title ballerina is too often applied to anyone female in ballet. That said the story (with undertones of Madeline) has its charms as the eight little dancers are discombobulated by an addition to the class, making nine in all. Their elegant teacher Miss Lina is up to the mathematical challenge, subtly helping them to adjust to three rows of three, instead of two lines of four. French illustrator Davenier (one of the New York Times' Ten Best illustrators for 2002) keeps the little girls exuberantly dancing in class, through math lessons, in the park, at the zoo, and at the beach. Her ink, watercolor and colored pencil drawings are lively, detailed, and witty; readers may enjoy tracking the shades of pink from pale to potent in fashions for nightgowns, bathing suits, school dresses, and shopping outfits—as well as tutus. (They can also note that the new classmate wears hot pink leg warmers, as do all the others when they finally accept her.) Maccarone's agile rhyming text dances along, too, making good use of the nine musical names Christina, Edwina, Sabrina, Justina, Katrina, Bettina, Marina, Nina, and new friend, Regina. Girls who love dance will likely find this story of immersion in ballet, making friends, and learning to adapt, most appealing. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—Miss Lina has eight students in her house in Messina: Christina, Edwina, Sabrina, Justina, Katrina, Bettina, Marina, and Nina. In four lines of two, they dance doing math, while they read, at the park, at the zoo, and at the beach. But with the addition of a new student, Regina, the girls are unable to perform in their familiar formation and chaos ensues. When Miss Lina patiently instructs her ballerinas to arrange themselves in a new configuration, order is restored: "everything's perfect now there are nine,/because dancing in three rows of three is divine…." The delightful colored pencil and pastel illustrations, with an appropriate dose of pink, beautifully complement the simple, rhyming text. The children are full of movement and expression, and the setting has a Parisian feel. Reminiscent of Ludwig Bemelmans's Madeline, this will be a crowd pleaser with aspiring ballerinas and also makes a great introduction to a math lesson on number groupings.—Rachel Kamin, North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, Highland Park, IL
Kirkus Reviews

In an infectiously rhyming text not a little reminiscent of Madeline, eight little girls ranging in name from Christina and Edwina to Marina and Nina all study ballet in Messina. They dance at school and they dance at the zoo. "They danced at the beach, / in four lines of two." When a ninth girl named Regina appears at school, mathematical mayhem ensues. Miss Lina elegantly points out the solution and now the girls practice their pliés "in three rows of three." Author and illustrator have teamed up for a lovely story about friendship, ballet and grouping numbers. The narration plays with sophisticated words and reads aloud with a gentle musical cadence. Davenier's colorful illustrations are filled with humor, movement and lovely shades of pink. Whether in double-page spreads or tiny vignettes, abundant action is indicated with graceful pink swoops. The little girls, nicely multiethnic, have personality, and young readers, budding ballerinas or not, will enjoy the details of the ballet studio and the joie de vivre of the nine young ladies. (Picture book. 3-6)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781466809451
Publisher:
Feiwel & Friends
Publication date:
10/26/2010
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
40
File size:
10 MB
Age Range:
3 - 6 Years

Meet the Author

Grace Maccarone is a children's book editor and the author of many books for young readers, including the First Grade Friends series, illustrated by Betsy Lewin. She lives in Westchester, New York.


Christine Davenier has illustrated many books for children, including the Piper Reed series, and was the recipient of a New York Times Best Illustrated Book Award in 2002 for The First Thing My Mama Told Me. She lives in Paris, France.


Grace Maccarone is a children’s book editor and the author of many books for young readers, including Miss Lina’s Ballerinas, illustrated by Christine Davenier, and the First Grade Friends series, illustrated by Betsy Lewin. She lives in Westchester, New York.

As a young girl growing up in Tours, France, Christine Davenier loved listening to her older sister read fairy tales aloud. But she frequently found herself wondering, What does the princess’s beautiful dress look like? or How exquisite are her jewels? Christine was left to her own imagination, for the books had few illustrations. So it comes as little surprise that today, Christine embraces her career as an illustrator. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to create the illustrations I dreamed about seeing as a child,” she says.

When Christine was fourteen, she received her first box of watercolor paints, a gift from her grandmother. That was the beginning of many afternoons spent painting together in her grandmother’s garden. “My grandmother was an extraordinary woman,” Christine says. “Even though she worked in an office all her life, she was an artist through and through. She shared everything she knew about color—in painting and in life. Her wisdom and talent still inspire me today.”

She has illustrated many picture books, including Sally Jean, the Bicycle Queen by Cari Best. She lives in Paris, France.

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Miss Lina's Ballerinas 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
MellysDream More than 1 year ago
We borrowed it from the library first and loved it! Great lesson about including the new kid and fun for any little ballerinas out there.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All the young kids at the dance studio love this book! It rhymes, has math/counting, and is very creative yet simple. Wonderful illustrations as well!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My almost 3 year old granddaughter loves all things 'ballet', and she loves 'Madeline'. So when I saw this, I just had to send it to her. She has it all memorized, and has listened to it over & over! As a B&N member, I also love how easy they make shipping books!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Brian Mulrooney More than 1 year ago
Its so adorable