Monday, September 20, 2010

Dancing girl

My dancing girl turned four last week and requested the ballerina cake from Grandma’s Women’s Weekly Cookbook, the birthday one that I use to love looking at when I was a kid. We had a small family gathering on the weekend, and Annalise was very excited by a gorgeous ballet outfit, chosen by her kind Nana and Auntie L.

Josephine is a kangaroo who loves to dance. Jackie French’s book, “Josephine wants to dance”, is filled with beautiful language that makes you want to jump up and twirl. It makes you want to soar to the music of the wind and whirl like the clouds across the gully.

Josephine is a kangaroo with determination and vision. She manages to ignore her brother’s insistent voice that kangaroos aren’t able to dance, and dreams of finding another way to dance. Josephine’s voice is always strong and certain – “I’m going to… I am …”

Bruce Whatley is the illustrator – lots of lovely clear white background so Josephine can jump and leap through the page. Notice how the text is placed – the surprised comments from the other characters are at an angle shooting up to the right of the page and the text describing Josephine’s dance movements is set in a wave-like motion. Clever! Something else to talk about to your listeners.

If you are a fan of this talented duo, you might notice Wombat and the shearers from their earlier books in the last few pages. Another talking point!

This book is a blend of the comical and lyrical, the hysterical and the beautiful. Exactly the emotions I feel when I watch my small ballerina twirl and fall over and laugh at herself.


  1. Happy birthday to your little one, that cake looks beautiful, I would have loved it as ballerina loving girl!

  2. Fabulous cake, Annalise would have loved it. AT