Tallulah's Tutu

Overview

Tallulah just knew she could be a great ballerina, if only she had a tutu. So she starts ballet class. When she does not receive a tutu, she quits. But everywhere she goes, things keep reminding her of ballet. Her neighbor’s basset hound always stands in second position. The kitchen clock performs perfect ronds de jambe. And Tallulah can’t seem to stop doing ballet, either. A park bench makes a perfect barre, and what better way to pet the dog than with a graceful plié? This well-told, funny story with a smart ...

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Overview

Tallulah just knew she could be a great ballerina, if only she had a tutu. So she starts ballet class. When she does not receive a tutu, she quits. But everywhere she goes, things keep reminding her of ballet. Her neighbor’s basset hound always stands in second position. The kitchen clock performs perfect ronds de jambe. And Tallulah can’t seem to stop doing ballet, either. A park bench makes a perfect barre, and what better way to pet the dog than with a graceful plié? This well-told, funny story with a smart new character will satisfy girls’ cravings for pretty and pink, but also shows that ballet is about more than just the tutu.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Tallulah is convinced that there is only one thing standing between her and ballet stardom: She doesn't have a tutu. Her obsession with dance continues even after she quits a class in tutu-less humiliation. Everywhere she looks she sees perfect arabesques and pliés. Eventually, Marilyn Singer's story about a future prima ballerina ends with a graceful lift and turn.

Publishers Weekly
Tallulah starts her lessons at the barre with visions of a much-coveted tutu dancing in her head. But when class after class goes by and all her teacher has to offer is, "Good job," Tallulah finally loses it. "That's not fair!" she cries, stamping her feet. "A ballerina needs a tutu, and she needs it now!" Gradually, Tallulah learns two important lessons: ballet is in her blood ("She always did a plié when she patted the neighbor's dog"), and not everything in life is about instant gratification. Singer (Mirror, Mirror) and Boiger (The Monster Princess) offer a story that is ostensibly as light on its feet as a sugar plum fairy. But without preaching, they score some important points about the value of patience, persistence, and the pursuit of perfection. And while Boiger's watercolors feel a bit too sunny and rose-hued at first—Tallulah and her classmates are standard-issue cute, with big, eager eyes—she captures the budding poise and grace of a young ballerina as well as the transformative power of discovering a true calling. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
"This endearing story teaches children the value of earning something and that the joy of the journey can be just as sweet as the reward....The muted, rosy illustrations create a soft mood and complement the tone of the story beautifully."—School Library Journal
 
"Without preaching,  [Marilyn Singer and Alexandra Boiger] score some important points about the value of patience, persistence, and the pursuit of perfection."—Publishers Weekly

"A nice addition to the recently growing collection of ballet-themed books." —Booklist
 
"The glittery pink cover and endpaper spreads of the five ballet positions are appealing, and Singer weaves the language of ballet throughout her story."—Kirkus Reviews

Children's Literature - Carrie Hane Hung
Tallulah has a passion for ballet and dreams about being a ballerina. So her mother enrolls her in ballet class. However, Tallulah desperately wants a tutu so she can be a great ballerina. She has some difficulties concentrating during ballet class because her thoughts of a tutu interrupt her practicing the different positions. When each lesson ends, she eagerly waits to receive her tutu and is disappointed; she makes up reasons as to what happened to her tutu. Although the ballet teacher explains to Tallulah that a tutu is earned with practice and time, Tallulah still wants her tutu. What Tallulah learns is that a tutu does not make a great ballerina. Instead, lessons, practice, and perseverance make a great ballerina. The watercolor illustrations fill the pages with Tallulah's story. The end pages have illustrations of Tallulah modeling five ballet positions. Children may want to compare the front and back end pages to make predictions about the story. There are excellent themes in the story for discussion. Reviewer: Carrie Hane Hung
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Tallulah loves to dance and desperately wants a tutu, so when she begins her ballet class, she is disappointed to find that she must wear a leotard. Each time, she waits full of expectation and confidence, hoping this will be the session when she receives her tutu. Her teacher explains that she must be patient and work hard to earn it. After a temper tantrum, Tallulah decides she no longer wants to work so hard and gives up ballet. Then one day, she hears familiar music in the supermarket and cannot stop herself from dancing. Tallulah decides she wants to dance whether or not she has a tutu. This endearing story teaches children the value of earning something and that the joy of the journey can be just as sweet as the reward. The book is full of rich vocabulary as young readers learn about pliés, relevés, and tendus. The muted, rosy illustrations create a soft mood and complement the tone of the story beautifully. Fans of Jane O'Connor's "Fancy Nancy" series (HarperCollins) will love Tallulah's tenacity and vivaciousness.—Kris Hickey, Columbus Metropolitan Library, OH
Kirkus Reviews

Young Tallulah knows she can be "a great ballerina—if only she had a tutu." She works hard in ballet class, which her mother tells her is also necessary, but her teacher rewards her with hugs—not a tutu. Tallulah decides that the tutu must be coming from Paris but is stuck in traffic in New Jersey. Several classes later the tutu still has not arrived, so Tallulah throws a tutu temper tantrum and quits. She does keep dancing in the street, in the park and in the supermarket. There, an encounter with a tutu-clad young girl who cannot dance turns the tables and Tallulah sees the light. She will take class and, in time, earn her tutu. The setting is an upscale New York City neighborhood artfully depicted in the watercolor illustrations. Tallulah's little brother, who loves to dance, and an adorable dog provide some comic relief. The glittery pink cover and endpaper spreads of the five ballet positions are appealing, and Singer weaves the language of ballet throughout her story. Unfortunately, the behavioral issues are too easily resolved, leaving readers to believe that earning a tutu really doesn't take all that much more application than Tallulah has already shown. An additional purchase.(Picture book. 3-6)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547173535
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 3/21/2011
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 229,897
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Marilyn Singer

Marilyn Singer is the author of more than one hundred books for children, including the Tallulah books. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and Washington, Connecticut. For more information, please visit: www.marilynsinger.net.

Alexandra Boiger has illustrated many picture and chapter books, among them the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books andfive books about Tallulah. Originally from Munich, Germany, she now lives in California. Please visit her at www.alexandraboiger.com.

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