Tutus Aren’t My Style by Linda Skeers, illustrations by Anne Wilsdorf
Emma loves getting dirty, chasing frogs, and just being outside. So when a package arrives from her Uncle Leo with a pink ballerina costume inside, she isn’t sure how to even pretend to be a ballerina. The mailman offers her tips about how to float, flutter and twirl but Emma just ends up in the birdbath. Mrs. Gurkin walks by and tells her to walk on her tippy-toes, but Emma falls into the petunias. When Emma heads inside, her brother suggests that music might help. Emma tries her kazoo, but that doesn’t work quite right. As she tries to adapt to being a ballerina, Emma finds herself returning to her cowboy boots and shorts that have handy pockets. In the end, she dances in her own way and style.
This book is perfect for children who don’t fit into the mold of pink for girls and blue for boys. Emma is a girl that one doesn’t see often in picture books. She is her own self, yet open to trying new things to see if they work for her. She will have readers cheering her on! Skeers has written a heroine with plenty of personality and spunk. There are wonderful humorous touches that really make the book a pleasure to read aloud. The text moves along at a brisk pace. Wilsdorf’s illustrations add to the humor with their cartoon style. They also show the reactions of Emma’s cat which is an important piece of the story.
Appropriate for all kids, this book should not be saved just for the tomboys who come to the library. We all have unique things about ourselves that we don’t want to change to conform. This book is about that, not limited to solely pink tutus. Appropriate for ages 4-6.
Reviewed from copy received from Dial Books.