written by James Howe; illustrated by Randy Cecil
(Candlewick Press) 2010
Source: Orange County Public Library
Brontorina Apatosaurus dreams of being a ballerina. Even though she has the body of a dinosaur, Brontorina has the heart of a dancer. Madame Lucille, of Madame Lucille's Dance Academy for Girls and Boys, can sense this and invites her to join her ballet class. In her first class, Brontorina impresses Madame Lucille with her grace and agility although not everyone agrees. Two snarky students comment that she doesn't have the right shoes. In the weeks that follow, Brontorina gives her best effort, but she has difficulty fitting in due to her size. Madame Lucille is ready to throw in the towel until Clara reveals a lovely surprise which makes Madame Lucille change her point of view.
Brontorina is a humorous and clever tale that would make for an excellent lesson on point of view. You could discuss what several characters are thinking as events transpire in the book. What Madame Lucille sees would be different than the viewpoint of the two snarky students or the students, like Clara, who befriend Brontorina. This book is also about friendship and acceptance which are always good discussion points. You could also ask students to think about what would be the main idea of this story as there is a clear message about following your heart and being accepted.
Other reviews of Brontorina:
Hooray for Books
A Year of Reading