Katterina Ballerina


Children - Animals
32 Pages
Reviewed on 07/13/2016
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Sarah Stuart for Readers' Favorite

Katterina Ballerina by Linda Lee Kane, beautifully illustrated by Josh Byers, is a short story written for four to nine-year-olds. (American school grades P to 4) The intention behind it is to demonstrate to any child that he or she can succeed, which builds self-esteem and confidence. Ms Cane tells the story of Katterina, a young giraffe who longs to dance but is laughed at by the other animals who live on the plains, until she finds Grandma Dee’s dancing class where she is taught with lots of encouragement, and makes friends. Katterina Ballerina would be an incredible book to use in schools. Specialist terms used are plié, arabesque, pirouette, jete, passé and rond de jambe. Interest in exactly what Katterina does would be sure to prompt a lively class discussion and teachers could encourage that with a little research into those movements, and the 2, 3, 4, bend, stretch, point, relax, routine.

Katterina is a young giraffe who longs to dance, but her spindly legs never do quite what she tells them. As a result, she is teased, pushed out of the way, and laughed at by the other animals until she meets a dance coach: “Everyone calls me Grandma Dee, and all dancers are welcome here with me.” I absolutely loved this book and would enjoy reading it to my young niece who wouldn’t resist the delightful pictures, but anyone who buys it for a child, knowing nothing of ballet, should Google before they gift wrap! Katterina Ballerina by Linda Lee Kane is a story to delight youngsters and parents alike.

Jack Magnus

Katterina Ballerina is an animal short story for children written by Linda Lee Kane and illustrated by Josh Byers. Katterina wanted with all her heart to be a ballerina. She'd dream about it at night and wish upon the stars up in the sky, but she didn't think she'd ever get to be one. She didn't look like the other young giraffes. She was clumsy and felt that her gangly legs just wouldn't work right at all. But still, she needed to dance, and so she did in secret where no one would see her. Katterina knew all the dancing moves and faithfully practiced each one, but all too often the other animals would discover where she was practicing and yell at her to get out of the way. Each time this happened, Katterina would get frightened and flustered, and she’d end up falling in an ungainly heap of tangled legs. Then, one day, she heard what sounded like a dance class. Following the sounds, she discovered a green glade where all sorts of animals were dancing and practicing their moves. They even had a teacher, a tall giraffe named Grandma Dee who invited Katterina to join her dancing school. Could life get any better for a young aspiring ballerina?

Linda Lee Kane's animal short story for children, Katterina Ballerina, is an inspiring and fun story that just goes to show how hard work, dreams and a bit of extra effort can sometimes make the improbable come true. Katterina is a marvelous role model for kids, especially shy or quiet ones who feel that they're different and won't be accepted by others. The young giraffe finds her place and all the hard work certainly pays off for her. I loved reading this uplifting and gentle tale. Josh Byers' illustrations are brilliant. The facial expressions on his animals are superb, and they work so well to bring Katterina's world to life. Each panel is brilliantly colored and complements the story perfectly. Kane's story is awesome and beautifully told. Katterina Ballerina is a grand selection for story time as well as a perfect selection for young readers. It's most highly recommended.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Katterina is a giraffe. She’s a little too spindly in the legs and a little too long in the neck, and none of the other giraffes seemed to like her. She didn’t mind, really, because all Katterina wanted was to be a ballerina. That made things rather difficult as no one else knew how to dance, there was no one to dance with, and no one to teach her. Until one day, while trying to find that perfect spot where no one else could see her practice and make fun of her, Katterina stumbled upon a ballet class with a giraffe as the teacher. What could be more perfect? At last, Katterina could fulfil her dream.

Linda Lee Kane’s picture book story Katterina Ballerina is delightful. Coupled with colorful illustrations, this story leads the reader, with some interesting rhyming meter, through the trials and tribulations of an unusual ballerina wanna-be. Children will instantly relate to Katterina’s dream, because everyone dreams of being something. And, against all odds, Katterina persists and pursues her dream to become the best ballerina ever, even if she is a gangly giraffe with spindly legs and too long a neck. Katterina blossoms from a giraffe everyone else makes fun of to becoming a star who shines on stage, a beautiful ballerina that everyone wants to watch dance.

The story inspires young readers to work hard to achieve their dreams, to think big, and to believe in themselves. It also points out that obstacles can be overcome with perseverance. While everyone is different, everyone also has a gift, a talent through which they can and do shine. An inspirational story with a powerful, beautifully illustrated message.