Angelina, Star of the Show (Angelina Ballerina)
"A lovely intergenerational story of how to find fun in hard work and how helping others often ends up helping yourself."
Angelina, Star of the Show is part of the original Angelina Ballerina series of board books, recently reissued in a new sparkly hardcover format. Now that there's a television adaptation, and the books are being revisited. The stories still have charm, especially in the lively line work and detailed illustrations by Helen Craig.
In this adventure, Angelina is taking her grandparents' riverboat to the Mouseland Dance Festival, where Angelina will perform in her pretty pink tutu. Grandma and Grandpa are more focused on tending the boat and navigating the river than Angelina's fancy footwork.
"'What do you think of this step?' Angelina asked, and 'Does it look nice?'
'You're a sailor now,' Grandma reminded her sternly, but Angelina was too busy dancing to be a sailor."
Angelina continues to prance, ignoring the chores she should be doing, despite constant urging by her grandparents. Finally the predictable catastrophe happens. Angelina ruins her beautiful costume and realizes that the disaster is all her own fault. Worse still, she's disappointed her grandparents.
"'I'm sorry, Grandma!' Angelina sobbed. 'I haven't been very helpful, have I?'
'I know you're sorry,' said Grandma as she dried Angelina's tears.
'I haven't got anything to wear to the dance festival now,' sniffed Angelina. 'And I can't do my dance without a costume!'"
Angelina decides to make it up to her grandparents by becoming the best sailor she can be. All that hard work turns into an idea for how to solve her costume problem. Combining boating work with dancing, Angelina comes up with a new dance, a sailor's jig in a sailor's outfit. The Mouseland Dance Festival is a tremendous success, thanks to Angelina, helped out by her grandparents. It's a lovely intergenerational story of how to find fun in hard work and how helping others often ends up helping yourself. This is a gem many grandparents will want to share with the younger generation.