Brontorina – Kids Book Review
It’s that time of the month again – book club! This month’s book is Brontorina by James Howe, chosen because it combines two of Ragamuffin’s current interests – dinosaurs and dancing. It’s a lovely little book about accepting those who are different to ourselves, I’m sure it will become a classic in the coming years.
Brontorina is a dinosaur who insists that she’s a ballerina on the inside.
When she turns up for dance class at Madame Lucille’s Dance Academy for Boys and Girls Madame Lucille isn’t quite sure whether or not to let Brontorina join in. But decided to let her in when Jack and Clara plead with her.
For a few weeks Brontorina manages to squeeze herself into the dance studio but they all soon realise that she’s just too big for the room and she still doesn’t have the right shoes. That is until Jack and Clara’s mum surprises Brontorina with a pair of specially made ballet shoes just for her.
Madame Lucille then realises that it’s not that Brontorina is too big, but that the studio is too small, so they all set off to find a studio big enough for her. In the end they decide to hold dance classes outside in a field and Madame Lucille’s Dance Academy is renamed to Madame Lucille’s Dance Acadamy for Boys and Girls and Dinosaurs.
The pictures in Brontorina are nice and bright, so it kept Ragamuffin’s attention throughout. The words are printed in a big font making it perfect for first readers too.
I love the underlying message of this story. We live in a multi-cultural world with people of all shapes, sizes, colour and ability. So now, more than ever, we need books that help teach our kids about diversity.
My favourite part of the story is when Madame Lucille realises that Brontorina is not the problem but that the studio is. She shows that we can always find a way to accommodate people if we try hard enough.
I’m also pleased that the dance acadamy specifically accepts boys too. It’s always nice to see stereotypes being questioned in kids’ books.
If you’re looking for a book to teach your little ones about diversity, Brontorina should be right up there. It shows children not only that we should accept others no matter what but about kindness too. Jack and Clara ask Madame Lucille to let Brontorina join in, even when some of the other dancers are a bit judgemental. I thought it was lovely that Clara and Jack’s mum makes Brontorina a pair of dinosaur sized ballet shoes.
All in all, I can’t speak highly enough of this book. It has bright colours and comes in a lightweight paperback making it engaging and easy for little hands to hold.
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