Friday, October 29, 2010

Laura Numeroff's Dancing Jellybeans

Some of Laura Numeroff's most popular books are from the If You Give a Mouse a Cookie series. We actually own three of them and have even seen a theatre production of If You Give a Pig a Pancake. But did you know that Laura Numeroff has also co-written a book about dance?

The Jellybeans and the Big Dance is the first in a newish series by Laura Numeroff (author), Nate Evans (author), and Lynn Munsinger (illustrator). Here's what publisher Abrams Books for Young Readers has to say about the book:

Emily loves to dance and can't wait to meet the other girls in her class, who are sure to be just like her. But instead she meets Nicole, a tomboy who would rather be playing soccer; Bitsy, who loves arts and crafts; and Anna, a shy bookworm who has no interest at all in dancing. Realizing they have to work together to make their dance recital a success, the girls learn to love each other's differences and strengths as they band together and name their group the Jellybeans!

I would describe this book as sweet (not unlike jellybeans) in all respects. I love how the four characters learn to get along so well by the end of the book, despite the major differences in their personalities. On a related note, it's really cute how they come up with the name for their group:

"Jellybeans are all different flavors, but they still go well together," said Emily. "Maybe we could, too. We can be the dancing Jellybeans!"

The illustrations, too, are very sweet. Their colors blend together so nicely, and there are lots of least two or three scenes on each spread. (As a writer, I have to admit that I often focus way too much on the words in picture books, even though the pictures are just as important. Having this blog is really teaching me to slow down and look closely at all the different components of a book.)

I also love the sparkly title and costumes on the cover. They add a nice touch that certainly makes me want to pick up the book. I'm sure little girls and boys won't be able to resist either. And if they like this book, they might also like the sequel, which was published in March of this year. It's called The Jellybeans and the Big Book Bonanza and looks very entertaining. It takes place in a library instead of a dance studio, but Emily's love for ballet is still apparent.

In the bios at the back of The Jellybeans and the Big Dance, the authors and illustrator each mention their favorite flavor of jellybean. I have to admit that I'm a little more into dark chocolate than jellybeans these days, but if I had to choose a jellybean flavor, I'd choose black licorice. How about you?


  1. I *must* read these books! Thank you!

    I write about children and the arts, so I'm always eager to read what others are writing on the topic, and these books sound delightful.

    (My favorite kind of jelly bean is black licorice, too!)

  2. Thanks so much for your comment, Beth....and for answering my question about jelly beans. Glad we like the same flavor! I didn't know you write about the arts. That's fabulous! That's my leaning, too. I'd love to hear about some of your works in progress. Have you started submitting anything yet? Maybe the first thing is just for us to get through PiBoIdMo. I know I still have a ways to go!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...