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Monday, May 16, 2011

Tallulah's Tutu, written by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by Alexandra Boiger. Clarion, Thomas Allen & Son. 2011. $19.99 ages 3 and up

"At the end of the class, the
teacher told them what a good
job they'd done.
Tallulah waited for her tutu.
But instead she got a hug.
"Good job," her teacher said.
Tallulah decided that her tutu
must be coming from Paris."

What's a girl to do when she loves to dance, learns the five ballet positions, practices tirelessly and still doesn't get her tutu? Tallulah knows she can be a great ballerina, and with a tutu she would only get better and better. The lessons go well, her teacher seems to really love her hard work. But a hug and a gentle kiss on the top of her head at the end of her lessons just don't cut it! She wants that tutu!

When she runs out of excuses as to why the tutu isn't in her hands yet and already her 'third' lesson is complete, she makes the rash decision to give up dance. She can wait no longer! 

"Tallulah stamped  her foot. It did not feel good to do that in a ballet slipper. "That's not fair!" she cried. "A ballerina needs a tutu, and she needs it now!""

She may be sincere in her decision to quit dancing; but, she is also distracted by constant reminders:

"But everything kept reminding Tallulah of ballet. Her neighbor's basset hound always stood in second position. The kitchen clock constantly performed ronds de jambe. The serving spoon at dinner was forever doing tendus."

Just as most people who have put a stop to what they love to do, Tallulah decides that to learn to dance will be worth the work and the wait. She will keep practicing and hoping against hope that a tutu will be hers...someday!

Now, to the artwork for this vibrant and charming tale. Alexandra Boiger captures Tallulah's endearing character on the cover and, once inside, on the front endpapers as well. Practicing her moves, she beams with pleasure and assurance. The use of the color red keeps our focus on her as she goes to her dance lessons and enjoys family life. There is such attention to detail and movement. Keep your eye on her little brother Beckett. His moves are pretty awesome, too.

What a lovely gift for an aspiring ballerina in your life!

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