Starring Miss Darlene

Starring Miss Darlene

by Amy Schwartz
     
 

A STAR IS BORN, HIPPO STYLE in this riotous tribute to life upon the stage.

Determined to be a star, Darlene signs up for theater class. And she succeeds, though not in the way you might expect. In Noah's Ark she's cast as the Flood, with cataclysmic results. She mangles her lines in a science fiction epic. And as Sleeping Beauty, she, well, sleeps. The funniest

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Overview

A STAR IS BORN, HIPPO STYLE in this riotous tribute to life upon the stage.

Determined to be a star, Darlene signs up for theater class. And she succeeds, though not in the way you might expect. In Noah's Ark she's cast as the Flood, with cataclysmic results. She mangles her lines in a science fiction epic. And as Sleeping Beauty, she, well, sleeps. The funniest book yet by an acclaimed author and artist, this picture book romp will have readers dancing in the aisles.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
NCTE’S Language Arts

A sweet hippo, Darlene, has a passion for being a famous theater actress. After the audition, she gets the ‘simple, yet vital’ role of the flood in Noah’s Ark. On the stage, she stumbles and spills water on several audience members, including a theater critic from The Daily Weekly. Amazingly, the newspaper announces that ‘Friday’s show was a drenching, yet refreshing experience.’ Darlene is again praised for ‘deepening the play’s mystery’ when she messes up her lines in a science fiction play. However, for the third show, Sleeping Beauty, she seems to make a critical mistake: Sleeping Beauty really falls asleep and does not wake up with the prince’s kiss. It would be an interesting task for readers to guess what the critic will say about Darlene’s performance in Sleeping Beauty. Schwartz’s soft watercolor outlined with a fine ink enhances three connected and uplifting stories about Darlene’s dream and her efforts to make it come true. This warm book will brighten young readers’ hearts with a subtle message that when you do your best, your efforts will pay off.

Jessica Bruder
Schwartz's text is charming and hilariously understated. Her watercolor-and-ink illustrations are rendered in quiet pastel tones, but their humorous details—Darlene's cavernous, buck-toothed yawn; animals dressing up like other animals to play parts in "Noah's Ark"; a beret-wearing fox for a drama teacher—pack a hippo-size wallop. In the end, you have to cheer Darlene's unlikely success.
—The New York Times
Children's Literature
Poor Darlene! She wants to be a star. But in her first role as the flood in Noah�s Ark, she stumbles on the hem of her gown and dashes a pan of water onto the front row of the audience. Is this the end of her budding acting career? Not at all. �A refreshing experience,� writes the reviewer. �Miss Darlene�s performance was especially exciting.� As Professor Looney in an outer space production, Darlene is overcome with stage fright; she mixes up her lines so terribly, they do not make any sense at all. A career ending disaster? Not at all. �In her role as Professor Looney, Miss Darlene used words in a way this reviewer has never even dreamed of. A triumph.� Now Darlene is both the director and the star of Sleeping Beauty. Alas, this Sleeping Beauty sleeps so soundly that only Prince Charming�s kick can wake her. Is this the role that puts an end to her dreams? Or could it be that a star is born? Humorous watercolor and ink drawings illustrate the pages of this tale that all aspiring actors will enjoy. Reviewer: Anita Barnes Lowen
Kirkus Reviews
Darlene is a young hippo who wants to learn to act. She signs up for a theater class and participates in three plays over the course of the story, which is divided into short chapters. In each play, Darlene manages to cause some calamity. In her role as the flood in Noah's Ark, she spills water on the front row of the audience; she scrambles her lines in an outer-space tale; and she falls asleep on stage while serving as the leading lady in Sleeping Beauty. In a clever twist, the local theater critic interprets each of Darlene's performance problems as a theatrical breakthrough, with hilarious selected quotes from the reviews reproduced in the text ("Slumbering Princess Enlivens Classic Play"). Schwartz's minimalist style of illustration brings added humor to the text in her choice of animal characters: The director is a fox in a beret, and the theater critic is a pig. The illustrations alternate formats between multiple spot illustrations and full-page views of the young hippo performing, using a soft palette and a minimalist approach that suits the understated text. (Picture book. 5-9)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781596432307
Publisher:
Roaring Brook Press
Publication date:
08/28/2007
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
9.58(w) x 8.91(h) x 0.46(d)
Lexile:
470L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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