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The Jewel Box Ballerinas
     

The Jewel Box Ballerinas

4.0 1
by Ana Juan, Monique de Varennes
 

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"I'LL TAKE TWO!" That's what Bibi Branchflower says about everything. She has two houses, two hats (exactly alike), and two silly dogs. But she doesn't have a single friend. When she comes across a beautiful jewel box, of course she wants two of them. Though there's only one like it in all the world, inside two dancers spin. Perfect! The shopkeeper explains that

Overview

"I'LL TAKE TWO!" That's what Bibi Branchflower says about everything. She has two houses, two hats (exactly alike), and two silly dogs. But she doesn't have a single friend. When she comes across a beautiful jewel box, of course she wants two of them. Though there's only one like it in all the world, inside two dancers spin. Perfect! The shopkeeper explains that the box is enchanted—all who look on the ballerinas will see sorrow in their faces. Soon Bibi becomes more concerned with her sad ballerinas than with worldly riches. What will make them happy? It is her love that finally transforms them into living, breathing, happy children—and gives Bibi two real friends.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Meredith Kiger
This clever book tells the story of Bibi Branchflower, a woman so rich she just has to have two of everything. And she does, but what she does not have is a friend. Bibi spends all of her days pursuing the acquisition of things, in twos, of course. One day in a shop, Bibi discovers a jewel box that contains TWO beautiful twirling ballerinas with one drawback. They never smile. Bibi purchases the jewel box and tries her best to get them to smile. She takes them all over the world to cheer them, to no avail. One day, Bibi accidentally misplaces the jewel box. Well, the ending will bring smiles to everyone, as will the imaginative illustrations. It is so much fun to read about Bibi's adventures that adults as well as children will enjoy repeats. Reviewer: Meredith Kiger, Ph.D.
Kirkus Reviews
A very rich, very indulgent woman cares so much for her material possessions, purchased only in quantities of two, that she has no love left for humanity. Her most glorious find, though, is a one-of-a-kind jewel box, which opens up to two beautifully costumed ballerinas. In spite of a warning that the dancers, ignored by the selfish sisters for whom they were made, will bring sadness to anyone who looks upon them, the woman falls under their spell. When kisses and new tutus fail to bring a smile to their face, they all set off on a grand journey to Alaska and Africa. When the ballerinas are lost in an African marketplace, the woman's frantic and sorrowful search brings them to life and all find joy and happiness and even redemption. Juan's acrylic-and-crayon artwork is glorious. From the haughty demeanor of the very rich to the exquisite details of the miniature dancers, from the snowscapes of Alaska to the heat of the African desert, Juan takes readers on a color-filled journey filled with humorous details. A lovely story to share in which greed is mightily vanquished by joie de vivre. (Picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375836053
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
09/11/2007
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
11.08(w) x 11.27(h) x 0.42(d)
Lexile:
AD740L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Monique de Varennes received her M.A. from the writing seminars at Johns Hopkins University and was awarded the Pushcart Prize in 2003 for one of her short stories. The author of The Sugar Child, she lives in Los Angeles.

Ana Juan is the illustrator of Kelly Cunnane's For You Are a Kenyan Child, Campbell Geeslin's Elena's Serenade, and Frida, a picture book biography of Frida Kahlo. She also wrote and illustrated The Night Eater, which won an Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award. She lives in Madrid, Spain.

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4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In The Jewel Box Ballerinas, Bibi Branchflower is so rich that she has two of everything¿two houses, two limos, and two little pugs that, in the book, look kind of cute and insane at the same time. The only thing Bibi doesn¿t have is a friend. One day she happens upon a tiny little shop and finds a beautiful jewel box that contains two tiny ballerinas. Before she buys them, the shopkeeper warns her that the box is cursed and everyone who has previously bought it has ended up returning it. Bibi, who would never believe in such rubbish as curses, buys it anyway and names the ballerinas Miranda and Mathilda. But Miranda and Mathilda look extremely sad, so Bibi sets upon a mission to cheer them up. When all of the gifts and entertainment in the world won¿t even produce a smile from the ballerinas, Bibi thinks a change of scenery will do the trick. It¿s on this journey that something magical truly happens, changing Bibi¿s life forever. My favorite part in the book is when Bibi decides to kiss the ballerinas in an effort to cheer them: ¿`Is that a smile?¿¿ she asked, for it seemed that their faces brightened. Then she shook her head. `Oh, piffle, it¿s only my old eyes making a fool of me. All the same, dear dancers, I¿ll kiss you often, for that felt wonderful indeed.¿¿ Here, we realize that Bibi is not the cantankerous old spinster others may make her out to be. She does have feelings, and she¿s lonely. The ballerinas are not the only ones in need of cheering up. Juan¿s striking and detailed illustrations make Bibi¿s quirkiness come to life. Each time I read the book, I find a new illustration I hadn¿t noticed before, from two snow globes atop Bibi¿s sled in Alaska to the hilarious expressions on Bibi¿s pugs¿ that will have your child 'and you' laughing with glee. This enchanting picture book reminds us that people are more important than things but in a lighthearted way that won¿t make kids think they¿re being taught a lesson. They¿ll be too focused on Bibi¿s wild hair and her pugs jumping with merriment at the end of the book to notice.