'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 9 February 2011

Review: Josephine Wants to Dance

Josephine longs to dance. She spends her days practicing: swaying to the breeze, bowing with the brolgas and learning to point her toes like an emu.

Then the ballet comes to town, and Josephine watches their rehearsals day after day, yearning to join them. She spends her nights dancing the routines, spinning, twirling and imagining herself on stage.
The dancers are in for a shock though, when, on the day of the first performance, both the prima ballerina and her understudy are injured. Josephine shows the ballet director her talent, hoping for an opportunity to dance.

The only problem is that Josephine is a kangaroo. And, as her brother Joey constantly reminds her, kangaroos don’t dance. The ballet company’s costume designer agrees; how would they find satin shoes to fit this bush animal?

This beautiful tale is appealing for so many reasons. The vibrant illustrations almost have Josephine bouncing off the page toward you. The words, in true Jackie French style, are not only beautiful, they make the reader become animated. As you read the story, you find yourself wanting to leap, twirl, sway and point your toes with Josephine. The words are even printed uniquely, swirling along the page, their size increasing and decreasing; a clever manner of visual tuition in using expression to read the yarn aloud.

This book is irresistible; you will want to keep hold of it the moment you pick it off the shelf. Sure to become a classic that every child must own, it will also have parents enjoying reading aloud and bounding around the lounge room like a dancing kangaroo.

Josephine Wants To Dance is a fun story with a positive message, showing children that they can achieve, no matter what anyone else says.

Title: Josephine Wants To Dance
Author: Jackie French
Illustrator: Bruce Whatley
Publisher: HarperCollins, $14.99
Format: Board Book
ISBN: 9780207200755
For ages: 4 - 9
Type: Picture Book