“ Genre: Junior Books / Author: Katharine Holabird / Edition: Reprint / Hardcover / Reading Level: Ages 4-8 / 32 Pages / Book is published 2006-01-19 by Viking Books „
The Angelina Ballerina books are some of my little girls favourite books, particularly as she takes ballet lessons herself and so loves to read about Angelina and her ballet and likes to compare herself quite a bit.
In this book Angelina has been dancing for a while now and she is asked to take part in a grown-up ballet, something she has been dreaming about for a long time. She is going to be a magic fairy and I love this part of the book as I think its what every girl ballerina wants to be, a magical fairy who can prance and dance about on stage with wings and be really magical. In this book Angelina actually gets to fly through the air with the help of a wire and my little girl finds this part very exciting.
What I like about the Angelina books is that there is always an important message to learn about and this book is no different. Angelina is a little upset when her little cousin Henry is also asked to take part in the ballet. He is not very good at ballet but because he is trying his best and keeping everyone entertained they all think he is great and soon turns into the favourite dancer. Angelina is very jealous but in the end her nice personality shines through and she is a friend to her cousin Henry.
I like this part of the book, its shows that yes, as an older sibling/cousin/friend you can get a little jealous of the younger ones but if you work out your differences you can still be good friends. I think this is an important message for my little girl to learn around her younger brother.
As always, its the beautiful colour illustrations in these books that really bring Angelina alive for me, the wonderful detail and sweet situations you find all the mice in that makes it so sweet, innocent and heartwarming.
We have ours in a large paperback version with an ISBN of 978-0140568660.
Another classic Angelina story.
My four year old daughter absolutely loves dancing and ballet in particular - so much so that she has been attending lessons since she was three. She is very much like the well loved children's character Angelina Ballerina who will never walk anywhere if she can dance instead!
We were first introduced to Angelina Ballerina a couple of years ago when my daughter was given the original and first book simple called 'Angelina Ballerina' and written by Katharine Holabird and illustrated by Helen Craig. Ever since then my daughter has been 'Angelina mad' and has acquired quite a collection of Angelina toys, books and games. For her fourth birthday, she was given a set of Angelina books and this one, 'Angelina on Stage' as one of them!
In this book, we meet the character of Angelina, who is a little mouse. She attends a ballet school run by Miss Lily (if you have read more than one of the books all the characters do become quite familiar). Recently, her small cousin Henry has also started attending classes, and what he lacks in talent he more than makes up for in enthusiasm!
There is great excitement in this story when both Angelina and Henry are given the opportunity to appear on stage with a real ballet company in a ballet called 'The Gypsy Queen'! Angelina is to play a fairy who actually gets to fly through the sky, whereas Henry is a little elf. Angelina is a little jealous though, because Henry actually gets to speak and she doesn't!
The main part of the story is really about the fact that Henry keeps getting things wrong and losing his way in the large theatre. Angelina gets over her jealousy and looks out for him, ensuring he arrives on stage on time. Unfortunately this is where Henry's problems really begin though, as once he looks out into the bright lights and the sea of strange faces he is rooted to the spot and cannot say his words. Angelina saves the day though by calling down to him which gives Henry confidence and he is eventually able to speak his words. Everyone is very grateful to Angelina - so much so that she is even promised a speaking part in the next ballet, which goes to show that everything does come right in the end.
This is quite a straightforward little story and I think that the length ( twenty four pages) is just right for any four year old girl who loves ballet. The story is exciting especially when Angelina gets to fulfil every little girl's dream of going on stage! There is also a bit of suspense as you wonder whether Henry will be able to find the stage and even carry on. And of course, something which is a real necessity when reading with young children, there is a happy ending!
You don't particularly learn that much about the characters in this book, but if you have read a few others your child will feel like she does actually know the characters really well. Angelina is very sweet but also very talented, whereas Henry is a typical small boy, always getting himself into scrapes! The adult characters are all very glamourous and my daughter loves looking at all of the beautiful illustrations, mainly because of all the wonderful clothes they wear!
These are all exquisitely drawn by Helen Craig. All of her illustrations are incredibly detailed so that there is always something new to pick out and talk about in each one. All of the characters are mice and they all seem to have rather wonderful whimsical expressions on their faces!
As I said the storyline is pretty straightforward and also the language is fairly simple, although there are some technical ballet terms such as 'plies' and 'arabesques'. Apart from these the language is very accessible which makes it ideal for reading to a young child, as well as a slightly older child reading to herself.
There are also quite a few talking points which might be useful to explore with young children - Angelina's jealousy and Henry's stagefright. These are both things that young children might start to experience and i often find it best to use storys to talk through the problems.
There is a danger that if you read too many of the Angelina stories they tend to become a bit too samey, but as a stand alone I think that 'Angelina on Stage' is an ideal read and both my daughter and I would recommend it!