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Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Yellow Tutu, written by Kirsten Bramsen and illustrated by Carin Bramsen. Random House, 2009. $19.99 ages 4 and up

"And then she had an idea. A bright, glittery idea. If I want to look like sunshine, I'll have to wear my tutu on my head. So she put her tutu on her head and wore it like a hat."

If you got a beautiful yellow tutu for your birthday, wouldn't you want to wear it on your head and look like a ray of sunshine? Well, I might not do it but I would want to! Margo opens her eyes, spies her present and can't wait to see what is inside. Her dreams have come is the most beautiful thing she has ever seen and she knows just what she will do.

Off she goes to school with sunshine on her head and joy in her heart. As she skips along she wonders:

"Would the pavement heat up when she walked by, warmed by the brilliance of her rays?

Would the grass grow taller and greener?

Would the birds sing happily and the bees buzz even louder?"

She arrives at school and the others are incredulous...they cannot believe what they see! They laugh at Margo and even try to pull the brilliant tutu off her head. She is gobsmacked. She cannot believe her ears. She rails at them, but they are adamant that she looks ridiculous.

It takes a friend to bring the sunshine back. When Pearl comes to her defence, Margo is full of warmth and wonder. Pearl, also full of imagination and charm, offers a retreat and a new adventure. Off they go to have tea and bloom like the glorious flowers that they are.

The story is lovely and lively. The illustrations are as full of wonder and delight as Margo and Pearl. The kewpie doll faces run the gamut of feelings that are a part of it. The bright colorful artwork, with the yellow tutu shining forth, will capture readers' attention and add humor, while also making them painfully aware of Margo's hurt at the hands of her classmates. You can almost see her lip tremble while tears fill her eyes and embarassment rouges her cheeks. Pearl sparkles with warmth and encouragement. The final spread shows two content young girls, adorned in pink and yellow tutus looking much like the roses that surround them.

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