Plum Fantastic (Sugar Plum Ballerinas Series #1)

Plum Fantastic (Sugar Plum Ballerinas Series #1)

4.2 36
by Whoopi Goldberg

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Whoopi Goldberg presents an adorable, illustrated chapter book series about six girls attending ballet school in Harlem.


Whoopi Goldberg presents an adorable, illustrated chapter book series about six girls attending ballet school in Harlem.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Forget low expectations from celebrity authors-this series opener is warm, funny and tender. Alexandrea Petrakova Johnson's mother has been foisting her own ballet fantasies on her daughter ever since she was born, and now that the two of them have moved from Georgia to Harlem, Alexandrea has been enrolled in the Nutcracker School of Ballet ("When I was growing up, I dreamed of taking ballet [there]," says Mama). A would-be costume designer, Mama gives her wild outfits names, like her Iceberg Suit ("white with shades of shimmery blue" with a triangular cap over each shoulder), and makes outrageous hats. Goldberg stops short of caricature, finding something believable to respect in Alexandrea's struggles in her dance class and in Mama's perseverance. She also gets friendships right, from the science-minded girl who, supposedly inspired by Leonardo da Vinci, speaks backward, to great comic effect; to a snobbish trio. Teachers behave reasonably, as does Alexandrea, and when she unsurprisingly finds success, it's credible and cause for readers' happiness, too. Ages 6-10. (Oct.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal

Gr 2-4

Alexandrea has just moved from small-town Georgia to New York City's Harlem where her mother hopes to launch a costume-making business. The nine-year-old feels like she's in another world, except that Mama is still forcing her to take ballet, even though Alex dreams of becoming a speed skater like her idol Phoebe Fitz. The first day of class is made even worse, since her mother forces her to wear a wild creation-a tutu resembling a "pink puff pastry." When Alex is randomly assigned the coveted role of Sugar Plum Fairy in the school's summer performance, she is terrified and shunned by the other dancers. Practice doesn't help, and she seriously considers giving up the part. However, after seeing Phoebe Fitz on television talking about the importance of ballet, Alex determines to try her best. She enlists the help of other students, and as the girls progress with the dance moves, so do their friendships. Alex's voice is full of wit and determination. This fun easy chapter book develops at a good pace and creates a bit of tension and anticipation as readers follow Alex's efforts. Themes of self-confidence and the potential to achieve whatever you set your mind to are neatly woven into the story. Occasional spot art shows Alex and her new friends.-Bethany A. Lafferty, Las Vegas-Clark County Library, NV

Kirkus Reviews
When her ballet-nut mother decides to take her costume-designing business from Apple Creek, Ga., to Harlem, Alexandrea Petrakova Johnson ("The closest I've ever been to Russia is Atlanta") finds herself moving from a sleepy little small-town dance studio to the illustrious Nutcracker Ballet School. Much to her chagrin, Al, arguably the poorest dancer in the class, manages to land the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy in the upcoming recital. In order not to ruin the recital and embarrass herself, Al has to conquer the following problems: her trouble remembering the steps, her tendency to lose control when she spins and her terrible stage fright. Luckily, and unsurprisingly, she finds a group of friends who help her overcome all of these obstacles with a lot of practice and some creative solutions. Other problems, including Al's mother's difficulty finding clients for her business and her tendency to live vicariously through Alexandrea, reach quick and forced resolutions. Ultimately, though, an endearing multiethnic cast of characters and a positive message of the power of friendship make this one a keeper. (Fiction. 7-10)

Product Details

Disney Press
Publication date:
Sugar Plum Ballerinas Series , #1
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File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Whoopi Goldberg is the author of the Sugar Plum Ballerinas books and of Whoopi's Big Book of Manners, illustrated by Olo. She has won a Tony, an Emmy, and Oscar, and a Grammy, as well as two Golden Globes. In 2001 she was awarded the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Whoopi Goldberg has appeared in scores of films,and is a host on ABC's The View.

Whoopi Goldberg lives in New York and Vermont.

Deborah Underwood's book credits include Sugar Plum Ballerinas: Plum Fantastic; Pirate Mom; and the forthcoming picture book Granny Gomez and Jigsaw, illustrated by Scott Magoon. Her ballet career was cut short by a tragic lack of talent, but she can sing a mean aria and knows four ukulele chords. She lives in Northern California with her cat, Sports Fan. Visit her online at

Maryn Roos was always better at drawing ballerinas than being one. Beyond ballerinas, she has drawn everything from monsters to dancing ducks in dozens of books and several educational software programs, most recently for Imagine Learning English. Maryn lives and draws, and very rarely dances, in Provo, Utah.

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Plum Fantastic (Sugar Plum Ballerinas Series #1) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
EGHunter01 More than 1 year ago
Favorable: Uplifting and informative. Brava, bellissima! This book is hilarious, LOL funny, and enjoyable. It has it all inside with teamwork, friendship, and determination as well as "S.P.S. Power". The protagonist is comical and endearing. Book cover art is gorgeous and well detailed with beautiful coloring. And the supporting "cast" is lovely and inviting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a ballerina and I love this book.
Orchid2674 More than 1 year ago
My daughter read this book. She is seven. To start it was a little slow but as she read on she became more interested. SHe laughed out loud and could compare herself to the characters in the book. She too is in dance and totally related to the recital. Overall she loved the book and was very excited when she told me about the story.
mizzbinx More than 1 year ago
THIS BOOK IS GREAT!!!!!!!! children 6 to 12 will adore this book im 11 and i read this book over 5 times i love this book and i think ur kids will to.Its a book that teaches a lesson and a book just for fun i give whoopi major props for this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like how the book was talking about one charater.i like her. I her personality if that is how you spell personality. Her mom is very crazy about ballerinas.And she has a good fashion side.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this book read it like 100 times even though im not in ballet but it was just great !!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is really cute. It's the perfect book for young girls who take ballet classes.
journeyw More than 1 year ago
I love this book. It is really enthusiastic and really detailed. I am a fan fan of this book. Whoopi Goldberg it was interesting. My favorite part was when she was in the recital and when she had stage fright.
virgo42 More than 1 year ago
I brought this book for my great-niece and I read it myself. It is a great book and I would recommend it for girls 8-10
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love it
readmeLC More than 1 year ago
i love ballerina books for my daughter. she love them, and i love chocolate ballerinas thanks whoopi great job!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kida good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow that book was the best thing that i have ever read. To tell you the truth i really wasnt lookin foward to this bpok being tht good. Thnx to whoopi goldberg, who im doin for black history month she taught me a life lesson. Plz dont correct my grammar im doin it on purpose but back to the topic I wanna send a thank you to whoopi for changin my decision if it wasnt for her i wouldnt be taking ballet lessons from the best ballet teacher in the world. My point is that peole can inspure you a lot. Th people who dont amdire whoopi goldberg you should rethink about it because you are putting yourself in a damag that cant be replaced. This would mean so much to me if you at least read one of her books. Im sure she would appericate the support and love that u will and that u are giving. To get more touching info. like this than call 1800-693-4802
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this for my 7 year old ballerina. She absolutely loves this book and I will be purchasing the rest of the series.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is awsome this book help me in my reading really well thank of the books your reading because you thank of this book because its really good and helpful to you and me thamk you for reading this book and tank you for having this book in the world kids you well love this book you well think i made up this book and this stuff that im typing bot whacth me you well belive me i think i just said i am a good writer this is a fun book.i need to finsh my book plese fell free to talk to me more about this book because i well be happy to meet with you because you read my comments and becuase you think this book is good o i got an idea lets be freinds for ever tell we dye then we can read together then we can have sleep over only ir you are a girl i see you later bye-bye. Ps i do need help on my reading a little like thoose big harry potter books not that i like the harry potter no seriesly i dont like the harey potter books or movies see u later.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LIV2read More than 1 year ago
We fell in love with Ms. Goldberg's characters from the first page! The story, about a little girl transplanted from Georgia to Harlem and enrolled in ballet school because her mother wanted to take ballet, is both endearing and funny. Alex doesn't really want to be a ballerina and doesn't think she's very good. Then she's chosen for the envious roll of the Sugar Plum Fairy and her new friends, including girls who wanted the roll, must work together to avoid a disaster on the night of the recital. Ms. Goldberg slides in a little lesson on friendship and teamwork while entertaining with these really cute, genuine characters. I love this book. It is well written, has a few new vocabulary words for the kids, is positive and fun to read. Kids seem to love series, so they can get more once they finish... and wish it hadn't ended.
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