________________ CM . . . . Volume XI Number 2 . . . . September 17, 2004

cover James the Dancing Dog.

Linda Maybarduk. Illustrated by Gillian Johnson.
Toronto, ON: Tundra, 2004.
24 pp., cloth, $22.99.
ISBN 0-88776-619-6.

Preschool-grade 1 / Ages 4-6.

Review by Christina Neigel.

**** /4

excerpt:

Night after night, he watched from the wings as the dancers performed their magic. He dreamed of following them into the spotlight.

But they always said, "Stay here, James, old buddy. You don't belong on stage."

James refused to give up. He worked doggedly to improve.

He grew taller and lost his puppy fat, but even so, his dancer's soul stayed wrapped in a beagley body.

James the Beagle was an important member of the National Ballet of Canada from 1961-1972. Based on this real dog, this tale describes James' longing to be "on stage." An opportunity finally arises when the wolfhound recruited for Giselle gets stage fright and the ballet company must quickly find a replacement.

internal art     Illustrated with bright water colour and ink cartoon-like drawings, this is a sweet story of a very special pet. As the text describes James' desires and dreams, the illustrations show the reader how central this dog is to the dance company.

     James' human-like qualities, as described both texturally and visually, immediately engage the reader. In fact, the book is so effectively arranged, the reader cannot help but be drawn into the story.

     A wonderful book!

Highly Recommended.

Christina Neigel, an instructor at the University College of the Fraser Valley, teaches in the Library and Information Technology Diploma Program in Abbotsford, BC.

 

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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