Author: Barnett, Mac
It's John's big day at school today--a performance for Sharing Gifts time. His bag is carefully packed and prepared, his classmates are ready, and the curtain is waiting to open. John is nervous, looking out at all the other children staring back at him. But he takes a big breath and begins.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 2.00
Points: .5 Quiz: 516637
Kirkus Reviews (02/01/22)
School Library Journal (04/01/22)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/03/22)
The Hornbook (+) (00/03/22)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 01/01/2022 Eating breakfast together at school, John's friends know that he is nervous. Today he’ll perform for the whole school. Every Friday morning, all the students gather in the cafeteria for an assembly. First come the announcements and sometimes a guest. Finally comes a special time when one student shares a talent, such as playing the tuba or presenting card tricks. Backstage, after putting on his leotard, tights, and ballet slippers, John waits until finally the music starts. As he dances, his worries slip away. Gradually he begins to smile as he performs pliés, pirouettes, arabesques, little jumps, and soaring leaps. At the end, John bows to his audience. They stand and clap for him. Written from his classmates’ point of the view, the quiet text tells the story simply, though during the lively, eight-page dance sequence featuring images of John in motion, two words suffice: “He danced.” Berube’s sensitive drawings, created with ink and paint, capture the look and ambiance of the elementary-school setting as well as John’s emotions. A respectful, wonderfully childlike introduction to ballet. - Copyright 2022 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 04/01/2022 K-Gr 2—It is left to readers to intuit the source of John's stage fright in this heartwarming school story. A spunky child's voice explains about Friday assembly and Sharing Gifts time, when one student gets to perform for the whole school. Today it is John's turn. When the blue curtain opens, John, in his white leotard, black pants, and slippers, could not look more apprehensive. His expression barely changes through his first steps to the music, but then, after a graceful leap that spans two pages, John begins to dance with confidence and joy. He scissors his legs, spins, and soars with pointed toes and arms outstretched until the music stops. His worried eyebrows are gone, and there is a small smile on his lips. Then it is everybody else's turn…to clap. The child narrator and the loose line of the ink and paint illustrations capture the wiggly ambience of an elementary school assembly. The spreads over which John dances in a world of his own need no words and practically summon the music he is dancing to. VERDICT A charming affirmation of believing in oneself and of recognizing the heartfelt talents of others.—Jan Aldrich Solow - Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.