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Miss Lina's Ballerinas: 12/18/14
Miss Lina's Ballerinas by Grace Maccarone is about a ballet teacher and her eight students. They dance in two rows of four. That is until a ninth student joins the studio!
Maccarone's rhymes and word choice brings to mind the rhythm of Bemelman's Madeline. Combined with the soft almost impressionistic sketches by Christine Danvier and the homage is complete.
For children starting ballet or fans of Angelina Ballerina, the story uses a number of dancing terms. The children as they go through their day perform a number of different steps.
Next the book is good for children who might have a new child in their class. The eight girls are less than thrilled to have an extra person upsetting their routine. They stumble. They crash into each other. They burst into tears. That is until Miss Lina teaches them a new way to cooperate and a new way to dance.
Finally there's a small lesson in division. If eight can be divided into two groups of four, how can nine girls be evenly divided? Adults and older children will know the answer but for children just learning their number or just learning fractions or division, it's a good puzzle to figure out along with Miss Lina's students.
The book had many re-read requests at my house.