Review by Booklist Review
*Starred Review* With echoes of Bemelmans' Madeline, this buoyant picture book transports readers to another European city where a troop of girls lives under the care of a benevolent teacher: In a cozy white house, in the town of Messina, / eight little girls studied dance with Miss Lina. / Christina, Edwina, Sabrina, Justina, / Katrina, Bettina, Marina, and Nina. Accustomed to dancing their way around town in four lines of two, the children are flummoxed when a ninth girl joins their class. Thrown off their stride, all nine dancers and their teacher end up sprawling on the studio floor. Fortunately, Miss Lina knows just what to do, restoring order with three lines of three. The rhythmic rhyming text flows beautifully throughout the book, except at the climax, when it slows down the reader by changing the pattern of stressed syllables in the verse, metrically mimicking the abashed, baffled, befuddled state of the dancers. Capturing the girls' grace and joy as they dance through each day, Davenier's free-spirited drawings and color washes add a sense of music as well as movement to the scenes. Beyond the math concept that connects it to the curriculum, this picture book is a pleasure to read aloud and a beguiling choice for any young dancer.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2010 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
In both its pictures and rhyming text, this book is in many ways a ballet-themed version of the Madeline books: "In a cozy white house, in the town of Messina,/ eight little girls studied dance with Miss Lina./ Christina, Edwina, Sabrina, Justina,/ Katrina, Bettina, Marina, and Nina." Davenier (The Very Fairy Princess) is in fine form, with predominantly pink watercolors, accented with crayon, that blend soigne fluidity and slapstick comedy; while some grownups might quibble that her setting looks more Parisian than Sicilian, the spaces have a lyrical expansiveness reminiscent of an MGM musical. Maccarone's (the First Grade Friends series) story, which turns on the arrival of a ninth dancer (helpfully named Regina) who brings chaos to the corps' finely tuned "four lines of two," has a fairly flat narrative arc and near-instant resolution (Miss Lina quickly re-divides the girls into three lines of three). The girls' enthusiasm is undeniably infectious as they dance "[a]t the park, at the zoo, at the beach, and while shopping"; but while the book is a charmer, it's a bit of a letdown in the end. Ages 3-6. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review
PreS-Gr 1-Miss Lina has eight students in her house in Messina: Christina, Edwina, Sabrina, Justina, Katrina, Bettina, Marina, and Nina. In four lines of two, they dance doing math, while they read, at the park, at the zoo, and at the beach. But with the addition of a new student, Regina, the girls are unable to perform in their familiar formation and chaos ensues. When Miss Lina patiently instructs her ballerinas to arrange themselves in a new configuration, order is restored: "everything's perfect now there are nine,/because dancing in three rows of three is divine.." The delightful colored pencil and pastel illustrations, with an appropriate dose of pink, beautifully complement the simple, rhyming text. The children are full of movement and expression, and the setting has a Parisian feel. Reminiscent of Ludwig Bemelmans's Madeline, this will be a crowd pleaser with aspiring ballerinas and also makes a great introduction to a math lesson on number groupings.-Rachel Kamin, North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, Highland Park, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review
In the town of Messina, "eight little girls studied dance with Miss Lina." They dance, in four lines of two, while reading, shopping, and playing at the beach--until a ninth girl joins their ranks and throws off their system. Maccarone's lilting rhymes recall Madeleine. Davenier's pink-heavy illustrations are always elegant, even when showing the girls getting all tangled up. (c) Copyright 2011. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
In an infectiously rhyming text not a little reminiscent of Madeline, eight little girls ranging in name from Christina and Edwina to Marina and Nina all study ballet in Messina. They dance at school and they dance at the zoo. "They danced at the beach, / in four lines of two." When a ninth girl named Regina appears at school, mathematical mayhem ensues. Miss Lina elegantly points out the solution and now the girls practice their plis "in three rows of three." Author and illustrator have teamed up for a lovely story about friendship, ballet and grouping numbers. The narration plays with sophisticated words and reads aloud with a gentle musical cadence. Davenier's colorful illustrations are filled with humor, movement and lovely shades of pink. Whether in double-page spreads or tiny vignettes, abundant action is indicated with graceful pink swoops. The little girls, nicely multiethnic, have personality, and young readers, budding ballerinas or not, will enjoy the details of the ballet studio and the joie de vivre of the nine young ladies. (Picture book. 3-6)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.