Review Blog

Oct 27 2014

Bella Dancerella series by Poppy Rose

cover image

ABC Books, 2014
Bella Dancerella loves to dance ISBN 9780733332456
Bella Dancerella: Ballet school ISBN 9780733332463
Bella Dancerella: Concert night ISBN 9780733332470
Bella Dancerella: The big test ISBN 9780733332487
(Age: 5-8) Bella loves ballet and every movement she makes is based on a dance step. As she moves through her chores on the farm, she whirls and twirls, skips and leaps entertaining the barnyard audience, but getting into trouble with her dad because she forgets to do all she has been asked. Even though he knows she loves to dance, and would dance in her sleep if she could, he sees it as a waste of time and would prefer her to like something useful, like fishing. So even though she would dearly love to attend Miss Tweedie's Ballet School, it's unlikely he will agree... and so her farmyard friends hatch a plan to persuade him to say yes.
It seems little girls of a certain age like one of two things - ballet or horses. Bella Dancerella loves to dance is the first in a series that caters for the ballet-lovers and Miss 8 had her nose in it as soon as she spotted it, living her own dreams through Bella. Brightly illustrated (albeit in a Disney-esque fashion) with just the right amount of text for the newly independent reader, she enjoyed all four of the series I had, particularly Concert night which focuses on Swan Lake, a ballet she and I have attended many times.
There is a website with lots of activities and an online search suggests that there may well be other accessories, such as how-to DVDs, all developed some time ago by a Melbourne mother Mary Toniolo. Certainly a search of YouTube shows that there is more to the series than the books, including a video which demonstrates the five basic positions.
While the books themselves will be a popular addition to your collection, suggesting it to parents as a possible present for Christmas may well be a smart move - they will thank you for it and many little girls will be very happy.
Barbara Braxton

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