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Monday, February 29, 2016

Dance, Dance! Underpants! Written and illustrated by Bob Shea. Disney-Hyperion, Hachette. 2016. $10.99 ages 3 and up

"What do you mean?
Super-high leaps are
the best part of ballet.

Leaping seems like
showing off. Pointing
toes is classy.

Super-high leaps are
what makes ballet so ... "

Bob Shea knows exactly how to tickle the funny bone of early readers. He does so with great success!
In this second book about the boisterous and bossy Ballet Cat, we are introduced to another of her accommodating friends - Butter Bear. After reading the first book you will know Ballet to be centered on herself and the thing she loves to do most ... ballet! She wants ALL of her friends to be just as keen about it as she is.

Knowing that leaping into the air is the highlight of ballet, she tries to persuade Butter to try it for herself. Butter Bear knows her limitations and does everything she can to avoid disappointing Ballet  while also keeping herself safe and free from ridicule. Ballet is persistent.  Every time Ballet begs her to leap, Butter Bear has another excuse ready to avoid doing so! It gets so bad that Butter Bear uses hibernation as a ploy to avoid any leaping.

"Oh, my goodness,
you are right!
It is very late.
No wonder I am so
tired. I must go to
sleep for the winter.
See you in the spring,
Ballet Cat.

Not so fast!
You are not going anywhere
until we do the super-high
leaps that I showed you." 

Only then does Butter Bear share her concerns about leaping in front of an audience. She is worried that the audience members will LAUGH at her underpants! Most assuredly not, Ballet responds.
Once they see how talented Butter Bear is at leaping, they will be astounded and not even think to make fun. Butter Bear is not convinced. 

Can you hear the giggles as the audience chants UNDERPANTS! with great glee. When the leaping begins will Ballet Cat be right, or will Butter Bear be embarrassed?

The cartoon-like art and colorful speech bubbles attract attention and encourage readers to share the drama, by taking parts. The speech bubbles match the color of the character speaking. That makes for greater understanding and ease of sharing. The dialogue is spot-on and will have fans quickly turning pages to keep the action going. Enjoy!


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