Over in the Meadow at the Big Ballet

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The annual ballet is coming up, and everyone in the meadow is getting ready. The frogs are practicing their pliés, the hedgehogs are sewing costumes, and the rabbits and fluffy-tailed squirrels are busy painting the sets. Trouble is, the little swan with the starring role isn't quite sure she's ready for the stage. But with the help of her teacher, Miss Faye, the nervous swan spends every spare minute rehearsing—and when her moment in the spotlight finally arrives, a star is ...
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Overview

The annual ballet is coming up, and everyone in the meadow is getting ready. The frogs are practicing their pliés, the hedgehogs are sewing costumes, and the rabbits and fluffy-tailed squirrels are busy painting the sets. Trouble is, the little swan with the starring role isn't quite sure she's ready for the stage. But with the help of her teacher, Miss Faye, the nervous swan spends every spare minute rehearsing—and when her moment in the spotlight finally arrives, a star is born.

This fresh spin on the classic rhyme will leave every young dancer yearning for a chance to shine.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
A small swan, slated for a solo in the coming ballet, has stage fright. Miss Faye, the ballet teacher, insists that the little swan continue to practice. Various animals build and paint scenery, sew costumes, and work on dance routines. Speckled frogs and fat geese perform in chorus lines. Hedgehogs cut out patterns and sew costumes; the text reads:: “‘Stitch’ said Miss Faye. ‘We stitch!’ said the friends. So they stitched and they snipped through the long weekend.” The little swan in tutu and ballet slippers (over webbed feet) overcomes her fear and performs well to the delight of “beaming parents” and Miss Faye. With meticulous meter and interesting rhymes, the author gives a fresh take on “Over in the Meadow.” In spite of the goofy-looking little swan, the lesson of performing in spite of fear is well taken. Reviewer: Carlee Hallman
School Library Journal

PreS - K - Using the familiar framework of the classic poem's lilting verse, the author depicts a young swan's experience as the solo ballerina in a grand dance performance, led by Miss Faye, a cat who is her ballet teacher. All of the meadow creatures-frogs, hedgehogs, squirrels, and geese-come together to erect scenery, practice, sew costumes, and dance to the animal orchestra. The timid swan, who has worried and practiced all week, does beautifully, upheld by the encouragement of Miss Faye, and the outdoor show under the lights comes to a satisfying conclusion. Both text and illustrations capture perfectly the excitement and nervousness of putting on a production. The jewel-toned artwork done in ink, acrylic, and oil is energetic and endearing. Although not a necessary purchase, young ballerinas will take this title to heart and be entertained.-Judith Constantinides, formerly at East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
The well-known children's song "Over in the Meadow" serves as the structure for this charming interpretation featuring a shy little swan and her ballet teacher, a cat named Miss Faye. The young swan has been cast in a main role in an upcoming ballet, but she is filled with all sorts of worries about her performing abilities. Miss Faye thoughtfully acknowledges each concern in turn while insisting that her student can indeed handle the role. All the steps of getting ready for a theatrical performance are described in succeeding verses: building the set, making costumes, rehearsals, getting dressed and dealing with stage fright. Massini's delightful illustrations in a muted palette are filled with charming details and a wide variety of animal characters, and she does an excellent job with some complicated perspective issues, showing the outdoor stage set and the audience from varying angles. The whole complex range of the performance experience is packed into this seemingly simple rhyming story with an engaging text that works equally well when read or sung to the traditional tune. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399242892
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/10/2007
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.26 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Meet the Author

Lisa Shulman lives in northern California.

Sarah Massini lives in England.

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  • Posted March 11, 2015

    This is one of those books we picked up at the library years ago

    This is one of those books we picked up at the library years ago. It is a gem. We've checked it out numerous times. Tonight my daughter read it for the first time. We're buying it for her...it's just one of those books that will make a wonderful keepsake. It's a great story. Love the rhyming and cadence of the story, as well as the moral. 

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