Friday, September 4, 2020

Review - 10 Ballet Dancers

10 Ballet Dancers

by Amanda Malek-Ahmadi
illustrated by Kathrine Gutkovskiy
Date: 2020
Publisher: The Small-Tooth-Dog Publishing Group
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 30
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

10 ballet students and their teachers engage in a counting game, ending up in a big surprise at the end.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

While I love the premise for this ballet-inspired title, I just can't get past a couple of issues that marred my enjoyment of what is an otherwise unique counting book.

We start with ten dancers, who are performing various ballet moves. After each page, another dancer leaves, and the numbers count down until we're left with a surprise at the very end. All of that is good and fine, and the illustrations complement the text well.

I have two problems with this book, though. The first is the way it's written. Each page starts with a number and describes what the dancers are doing. For example:

Five ballet dancers waltz to the beat.
1, 2, 3...2, 2, 3... across the floor.

One glissades away and now there are

Four ballet dancers soar during leaps.

My brain just isn't meshing with the grammar here, as far as the verb forms. Gerunds should have been used in those numbered lines to make the text flow better (e.g., Five ballet dancers waltzing to the beat, Four ballet dancers soaring during leaps, etc.).

The second issue I have is with the glossary at the back. The problem? It's not really a glossary! It's a French-English dictionary. For example, we're told that "pas de chat" and "battement" mean "step of the cat" and "beating", respectively. Unfortunately, we're not given any more information about those particular dance moves. The illustrations, being static, can't really convey the movement, either. (And the "glossary" isn't even in alphabetical order, which seems odd. I guess the terms are in the order they appear in the book, but since the words don't really explain much, it makes the glossary even more confusing.)

Overall, this book might appeal to young dancers. But the choice of verb form is clunky and distracts from the flow of the narrative, and the glossary could be a little clearer.

Thank you to NetGalley and The Small-Tooth-Dog Publishing Group for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 2/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2.67 out of 5

No comments:

Post a Comment