(Yes, I know this post is a day late. That’s three times I’ve missed a day. Oops.)
When I take my daughter to the library, I let her pick out her own books. She can’t read quite yet, so she picks based on the color and picture on the cover. Right now she’s fixated on pink and princesses, so her method of picking a book involves pulling every pink book off the shelf to see if there’s a princess on the cover. That’s how she found this week’s review book, Sugar Plum Ballerinas: Plum Fantastic by Whoopi Goldberg.
Yes, those are ballerinas not princesses. She’s 4 years old. She doesn’t see a whole lot of difference.
I had a bit of hesitation reading this book to her. First, it’s for kids a little older than she is. Second, no matter how much I love Whoopi Goldberg, there is a stigma on celebrity authors. Not that I didn’t think she could write a children’s book but that I didn’t think my daughter would enjoy it. I’m so glad I was wrong.
Plum Fantastic is a beautifully written, warm, heartfelt story about Alexandrea Petrakova Johnson. After Alexandrea’s father dies, her mother decides to move back to Harlem from their home in Georgia to be closer to family, friends, and a new career as a costume designer. It’s a wonderful story of transition and emotion and finding friends and acceptance.
It is a little big for my daughter. She doesn’t understand everything that’s presented in the story, but she really enjoys the book. She loves the dialogue, and I know she’s paying attention because she asks relevant questions. When Alexandrea rips her tutu then loses it mid-jump, the other girls in her ballet class laugh at her. My daughter asked why they were laughing.
“Because her tutu fell off and she got embarrassed.”
“But why do they laugh?”
“I don’t know, baby. That’s what kids do sometimes.”
So the book may be a bit old for her, but she still got the message. I call that a win.
I give Plum Fantastic 4 toe shoes out of 5. I highly recommend it for other young readers. And I have a feeling we’ll be searching out the rest of the Sugar Plum Ballerina series in the near future.
If you have any recommendations – books, movies, tv, YouTube channels, etc. – that I need to check out, leave a message in comments or find me on Twitter. And as always, best wishes!