by Rebecca Bender (Author)
The award-winning creator of the Giraffe and Bird books introduces Dotty the dancing dachshund to celebrate the gifts of those who struggle to sit and stay
Dotty the dachshund knows she was born to dance ballet. When told to sit, she does a plié. Asked to stay, she does an assemblé. Fed up with Dotty's lack of discipline, Mrs. Austere sends her to the Canine School of Obedience, but Dotty just can't seem to learn. Heartbroken, the little dog flees to the park--where an unexpected new friend is waiting. Could he know the secret to helping Dotty dance out her dreams with her own kind of discipline? In Ballewiena, author-illustrator Rebecca Bender, creator of the award-winning Giraffe and Bird books, introduces a new volume of animal hi-jinks. Tucked into the witty language and amusing antics is a story about growth mindset and a perceptive note of encouragement for anyone who was made for activity in a world that expects stillness.
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A grand addition to the animal corps de ballet.
Dotty, a piebald dachshund with a warm brown tummy and face, loves classical ballet. "She chasséed down the sidewalk, stepped in glissade at the park, and pranced in pas de chat by the fire hydrant," writes Bender (the Giraffe and Bird series). But Dotty's owner, Ms. Austere, portrayed with paper-white skin, prefers her dogs to perform conventionally, and hauls Dotty off to obedience school. Fleeing to the park ("All I want to do is dance"), Dotty meets a Balanchine-like squirrel, Louis-Pierre, who encourages her passion while demanding rigorous practice: "Look how much discipline you've gained, Pitou! The more focus you have, the better you dance." This insistence on diligence and commitment propels Dotty to a triumphant performance at the dog talent show, which shows Ms. Austere the error of her ways, and infuses freshness into a familiar-feeling beat-of-one's-own-drum story (Dotty even realizes why Ms. Austere's other dogs practice unceasingly). The gouache, watercolor, pencil, ink, and digital illustrations brim with joie de vivre as the wiry pooch spins, leaps, and pursues her dream--readers may find themselves becoming budding balletomanes as the story unfolds. Ages 4-7. (June)Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.
Praise for Ballewiena
"In this inspiring tale, a dance-dazzled dachshund, Dotty, cannot resist mimicking the ballet moves she loves."—Foreword Review
"The delicate and detailed gouache pictures are cute and the message of following your dreams is perennially popular."—Youth Services Book Review
"Overall, BALLEWIENA holds a powerful message for young aspiring dancers and I would recommend it to fans of ballet. It's also a cute story for children to enjoy and learn to follow their hearts."—YA Books Central
"Ballewiena by Rebecca Bender and Pajama Press...is another cute book [about] the importance of going after your dreams and to remember to just dance."—Book Time