Saturday, before dinner
You will never ever EVER believe what happened today!
I was at ballet class like I normally am every Saturday morning. My ballet class is held at La Madame Fry Ecole du Ballet (which is just a fancy way of saying Mrs Fry’s ballet school). Except, actually, the school isn’t very fancy at all.
The main reason for this is because ballet is held in our local scout hall which means when we’re not there, the scouts ar, which is a VERY BAD THING.
Reasons why sharing your SPACE with SCOUTS is BAD:
- Scouts are (mostly) boys
- Boys often SMELL BAD (especially when they have been running around playing sweaty scouty games. Ewwww.)
- Boys leave old bits of chewy under the seats.
- They also leave BOY GERMS all over the wooden barre …
Ella is getting the hang of diary-keeping. In it she can talk about anything she wants to without fear of discovery, except perhaps by her snoopy little sister Olivia. In Ballet Backflip ’, Ella dreams of being the lead in the ballet recital. She and her friend Zoe, hatch plans to make sure they can share the limelight. Meanwhile at school, Peach is demonstrating new skills learned at gymnastics. Her backflip is very impressive, even Ella has to admit. The school playground is transformed as Ella’s classmates all try their own moves. Text is presented in a hand-writing font and there are illustrations scattered throughout. Some words and parts of the illustrations are picked out in purple. Ella includes some of her poetry too. If there are words that Ella thinks might not be understood, she includes a footnote explaining what she means. There is room at the back to write a shape poem of your own and decorate it however you want to.
Ballet Backflip is book 2 in the Ella Diaries series. Ella is in Grade 5 and reveals all in her diary so the reader is able to share in her ups and downs, excitements and frustrations. Ella is passionate about ballet and thinks her friend, Zoe is just as committed, but gradually comes to realise that changing interests don’t have to mean a betrayal of friendship. She demonstrates the difference between enthusiasm and obsession, and also the benefits of learning to adapt to new challenges. Young readers will recognise themselves and their dilemmas and potential solutions. There’s plenty here for young dancers, and gymnasts and their families. Recommended for mid-primary readers.
Ella Diaries 2: Ballet Backflip by Meredith Costain ill Danielle McDonald
Scholastic Australia 2015 ISBN:9781743628645
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s author and bookseller