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Leopold's Leotard
Cover of Leopold's Leotard
Leopold's Leotard
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Leopold loves to dance. He dances everywhere he goes. When his dance teacher announces the year-end recital, Leopold hopes he will get to be a graceful bird. Alas, no such luck. Miss Linda says the...
Leopold loves to dance. He dances everywhere he goes. When his dance teacher announces the year-end recital, Leopold hopes he will get to be a graceful bird. Alas, no such luck. Miss Linda says the...
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Description-

  • Leopold loves to dance. He dances everywhere he goes. When his dance teacher announces the year-end recital, Leopold hopes he will get to be a graceful bird. Alas, no such luck. Miss Linda says the dancers are going to be bees. But Leopold doesn't want to be a buzzing little bee. He wants to be tall and elegant like an ostrich!
    When the big night comes around, the combination of stage fright and an uncomfortable costume are too much for Leopold. Will he find a way to overcome his fear and disappointment to show off his passion for dance?

About the Author-

  • Rhiannon Wallace is a children's author, librarian and archivist. She works in public libraries, providing services to visitors of all ages. Rhiannon lives in Port Moody, British Columbia.

Reviews-

  • School Library Journal

    March 1, 2021

    PreS-K-A dance class, headed up by a Black teacher and with children presented as white, Black, or brown, is preparing for the year-end recital, where Leopold, a most fervent dancer, would like to be an ostrich. However, to the young boy's disappointment, the dance performance will be about buzzing bumblebees. But if Leopold, who has tan skin and black hair, can't be a graceful bird, he hopes he can play a venomous killer bee-but no, everyone will be the same kind of bee. In this humorous tale, Leopold has a meltdown that becomes an epiphany of sorts. It's brought on by his leotard costume, his small dance shoes, and a tight headband, and to make matters worse, he can't remember the steps. Children will be delighted by Leopold's solution to his problem as he sets himself free by shedding all clothing and then simply dancing. The three- to five-line paragraphs, set in a small black font, are arranged in different angles throughout, offering vocabulary words such as recital, graceful, venomous, and stage. The expressive digital illustrations, created with gouache and colored pencil, are set on white and soft-colored page backgrounds where the artwork emphasizes the leotards in yellow and black. The book ends on a scene of Leopold and a tastefully placed piece of confetti. Story time uses of the book will likely inspire further discussion. VERDICT A jocose picture book honoring-and rewarding-the free spirits of children.-Kathia Ibacache, Univ. of Colorado Boulder

    Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    March 1, 2021
    How far can one little boy go to dance completely free of all restraints? Young Leopold loves to dance. In a line of nicely diverse children, this little brown-skinned boy alone hears the beat. In dance class, he dreams of performing as an ostrich. Alas, the year-end recital will feature "buzzing bumblebees." Hopefully, for Leopold, this means they can "come out of a giant hive." Leopold practices, but then a scowl hits his face as he holds his costume, a black-and-yellow-striped leotard. The scowl remains as Leopold and the other children wait backstage. His costume annoys him, and the performance comes apart. Actually, it is the costume that comes off, piece by piece, until it is all cast away. Now he is free to dance to his inner spirit. (The reading audience sees him only in views that avoid full-frontal exposure.) An exuberant solo follows. Confetti that has strategically fallen protects Leopold and/or readers at the curtain call. In a concluding note, the author acknowledges that bumblebees live in nests, not hives, and includes some facts about them. The bright, delicate illustrations portray a very free-spirited (and self-absorbed) boy as well as the varying moods and amusing reactions of his fellow dancers. Whether or not Leopold can be viewed as a role model for aspiring dancers is open to discussion, however. A most unusual and revealing dance recital for little performers. (Picture book. 3-6)

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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