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

Tuesday 21 May 2019

Review: Leonard Doesn't Dance

When Leonard first hears about the Big Beaky Bird Ball, he is eager to join his feathered friends as they practice their dances for the big event. Every bird seems to have their specialty, from waltzing magpies to chickens who cha-cha. But no matter how hard Leonard tries, every step seems to go wrong and soon Leonard declares he is 'never going to dance again.' 

France Watts' alliterative text joyfully rolls of the tongue. Judy Watson's illustrations are vibrant, with rich deep blues, reminiscent of an evening sky, illuminated by the setting sun and a display of fireflies. The landscape feels like the Australian bush, but each spread is populated by an array of birds from all over the world, each with their own distinct plumage and personalities.

As Leonard discovers more and more birds are grooving, rocking and reeling, he steadfastly decides he cannot dance. The heart in this picture book is revealed when Leonard's friends decide they will not go to the ball without Leonard. Because he also cares for them, Leonard does not want them to miss out. A comical encounter leads to a funny resolution in this witty tale.

In Leonard Doesn't Dance, the words and images combine together to create a colourful, exciting dance.

Title: Leonard Doesn't Dance
Author: Frances Watts
Illustrator: Judy Watson
Publisher: ABC Books, $24.99
Publication Date: 20 May 2019
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 978073333040
For ages: 3+
Type: Picture Book