Ferguson (the Little Red series) introduces a vivacious aspiring dancer in this mild, somewhat pat story. Goode’s (the Louise the Big Cheese books) sprightly, wispy art is a show stealer, however, conveying Rosie’s personality with ease and humor. Rendered in mixed media and set against a white backdrop, the illustrations consist primarily of spare images of Rosie in constant motion—sliding down a banister (with her toes pointed, of course) and exuberantly dancing with her stuffed bear. Determined to be a prima ballerina, Rosie wears her tutu all the time, even while playing soccer and climbing trees. But when her mother decides it’s time for ballet school, Rosie has a tough time keeping up with her more graceful classmates, and her missteps are amusingly portrayed. Rosie is discouraged until a new pair of ballet shoes gives her the boost she needs. Although Madame Natalie tells Rosie that “practice and confidence” are responsible for her rapid turnaround in class, readers are still left with the disappointing message that it’s all about the shoes. Ages 4–8. Agent: Faith Hamlin, Sanford J. Green-burger Associates. Illustrator’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Aug.)
A little girl with red curls loves to dance—until she starts ballet school.
Rosie Red Curls, as her mother calls her, wears her tutu everywhere, points her toes and loves to listen to ballet stories—all with her beloved stuffed panda close by. Her mother enrolls her in ballet class, but this turns out to be a challenge. Rosie cannot manage the steps and looks like a “wilted flower” instead of a prima ballerina. Her ballet teacher comes to the rescue, giving her a pair of red ballet shoes, and now Rosie’s classroom steps are perfectly perfect. Even though her teacher also wore red, as Rosie sees in a photograph, they are not the real reason Rosie has bloomed: She now has confidence, and that comes from within... Kirkus Reviews
Rosie loves dance. She points, leaps, and twirls through daily activities, wearing a tutu wherever she goes. But when she starts ballet school, her unshakable belief that she’s destined to be a prima ballerina develops a quaver or two. For readers with similar aspirations, this picture book has some attractions. Goode’s delicate brush, pen-and-ink, and pastel illustrations have a Disney-esque charm. Balletic poses abound, energized by swirls of color to indicate motion. School LIbrary Journal
Ferguson, the Duchess of York, has produced a slew of red-haired heroines; this time out, it’s a hopeful
ballerina. Rosie loves to dance, and she’s quite good at it. But when she begins lessons, something
happens. She twists and trips and looks like a wilted flower. Soon she’s ready to give up dancing for good. Then a present arrives: beautiful red ballet slippers. Once Rosie slips them on, her pliés become perfect and her arabesques are sublime. When Rosie thinks the shoes should get the credit, her teacher—the gift giver—informs Rosie that success really comes from her own talent. Ferguson does not have the rhythms of a natural writer, and this text doesn’t exactly flow. Still, her books are always better when she’s paired with a good artist, and Caldecott Honor winner Goode is very good. Rendered in pen and ink and pastel, the pictures display a distinct feel of movement as Rosie cavorts about white pages. Her emotions, too, are evident from body language as well as expression. A ... story with a solid message about having faith in yourself.
— Booklist, September 1, 2012
A little girl with red curls loves to dance--until she starts ballet school. Rosie Red Curls, as her mother calls her, wears her tutu everywhere, points her toes and loves to listen to ballet stories--all with her beloved stuffed panda close by. Her mother enrolls her in ballet class, but this turns out to be a challenge. Rosie cannot manage the steps and looks like a "wilted flower" instead of a prima ballerina. Her ballet teacher comes to the rescue, giving her a pair of red ballet shoes, and now Rosie's classroom steps are perfectly perfect. Even though her teacher also wore red, as Rosie sees in a photograph, they are not the real reason Rosie has bloomed: She now has confidence, and that comes from within, her teacher explains. Madame Natalie's explanation notwithstanding, the red shoes function as a sort of preschool deus ex machina, a baffling device in this context. Goode's familiar illustrations in brush, pen and ink and pastel are appropriately delicate, the blues and pinks looking quite lovely on the white pages. The girls should not be shown en pointe in class, however; they are much too young. With so many wonderful ballet stories available, this is one to skip. (Picture book. 3-6)