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Naughty Toes

Overview

Chloe and Belinda are sisters, but they couldn't be more different. Belinda is a born dancer and the star of Madame Mina's dance class. Chloe is... not. Madame Mina thinks that Chloe has "naughty toes." But Mr. Tiempo, the class pianist, thinks otherwise. He sees something special in Chloe. Ages 3-7

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Overview

Chloe and Belinda are sisters, but they couldn't be more different. Belinda is a born dancer and the star of Madame Mina's dance class. Chloe is... not. Madame Mina thinks that Chloe has "naughty toes." But Mr. Tiempo, the class pianist, thinks otherwise. He sees something special in Chloe. Ages 3-7

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Our young narrator, Chloe, has a ballerina sister, Belinda. Chloe is definitely not a ballerina. As Madame Mina says in ballet class, Belinda has "good toes," but Chloe's are "naughty." When their dad does their hair, Belinda's stays neat, but Chloe's is fuzzy. In class, Chloe tries to follow instructions, in vain. Even eating their ice cream, Belinda eats her plain vanilla neatly, while Chloe's pink-bubble-gum-swirl spills all over. At the ballet show, Belinda is a fairy princess, while Chloe is a rock. Afterwards, Belinda receives a bouquet from Madame Mina. Chloe's gift, however, is a wonderful surprise, acknowledging that she is not like Belinda, but has talent of her own. Murfin uses a variety of collage materials and mixed media for her cartoonish double pages depicting the dance spaces where the youngsters learn their steps and the doll-like characters, with large heads and skinny, flexible arms and legs. Even as we sympathize with poor Chloe we are amused by the comic presentation of her efforts. Readers will surely empathize with her as they follow their own talent. The lesson of doing your own thing, however, is clear. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Kirkus Reviews

Chloe knows how hard it can be to follow the beat of your own dancing drum.

Her graceful sister Belinda perfectly meets all requirements of Madame Mina's ballet class. Chloe, however, is the constant misfit; she chooses a multi-hued ensemble, her pigtails fizz out and she crashes into a fellow dancer, the lone boy in her class. Madame's descriptive instructions successfully encourage almost all her young pupils to emulate a classic ballerina. "Sway like flowers!... Flutter like butterflies!" But instead, Chloe moves like a "cloud with gusto." Her teacher's sharp reprimands ("naughty toes!") point to Chloe's role in their final performance (her sister stars as the fairy princess, but Chloe is a rock). The initially rigid instructor and piano accompanist demonstrate a more receptive demeanor by recital's end; their gift to Chloe reflects a growing appreciation for her toe-tapping spirit. Chloe's deadpan narration is efficient. "My sister, Belinda, is a ballerina. I, Chloe, am not." Pitch-perfect body language reflects Chloe's embarrassment and her battle to express herself. Light graph-paper backgrounds try to exert order, while soft colors accentuate each contrasting behavior. Chloe's family shines, supporting their daughter's individuality without restricting her style.

A refreshing take on the need to follow one's own heart—or feet. (Picture book. 4-8)

Publishers Weekly
Unlike her sister, Belinda, Chloe is having a rather disastrous experience in ballet class. “Naughty toes!” says Madame Mina when Chloe has trouble, but for the most part, Chloe embraces her individuality. Bonwill (Bug and Bear) and Murfin (Thanksgiving Rules) convey Chloe’s distinctiveness without sacrificing panache or overdoing the message. Chloe chooses a green leotard when others choose pink (“It has style”), her hair won’t stay in place (“Never mind,” she tells her struggling father. “It’s unique”), and she doesn’t get discouraged when she runs smack into Anthony in dance practice (“I was a cloud with gusto”). But when Belinda becomes the star of the dance recital, Chloe’s confidence falters (she’s cast as a rock). Fortunately, others see Chloe’s potential, and she discovers a new calling—tap dancing. Murfin’s chunky characterizations emphasize both Chloe’s awkwardness and her passion, while wall- paperlike textures give the book a warm, reassuring feel. Those who march (or dance) to the beat of their own drummer should take heart in this story about a girl with a mind of her own. Ages 3–7. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Chloe can't help comparing herself to her perfect ballerina sister, Belinda. She wants to wear a green leotard and red shoes, has trouble taming her unruly hair, is a fan of jazz hands, and a victim of "Naughty Toes." Though her sister is cast as the fairy princess in the recital, Chloe gets her own version of satisfaction when a mentor realizes that she is better suited to ballet's louder cousin-tap dance. The mixed-media illustrations are fun and free, capturing Chloe's nature and attitude. Great as a read-aloud, for a guidance lesson on self-esteem, or even on sibling rivalry.—Jasmine L. Precopio, Fox Chapel Area School District, Pittsburgh, PA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781589251038
  • Publisher: Tiger Tales
  • Publication date: 9/28/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Lexile: AD560L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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