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by Marilyn Singer ; illustrated by Alexandra Boiger

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-547-84557-9
Publisher: Clarion Books

In the fourth entry in the popular series about budding ballerina Tallulah, she wins a part as a mouse in a professional production of The Nutcracker, but the performance doesn’t turn out as she imagines.

Tallulah is thrilled when she begins rehearsals with a professional ballet company for their holiday production. She and the other mice are taught by the ballet master, and Tallulah tries hard to be the most enthusiastic mouse in the cast. While spunky Tallulah is full of drive and passion for ballet, she also develops a bit of an attitude and begins to brag to her dance-class friends and brother. On opening night, Tallulah steps on the tail of another mouse, causing a chain accident of fallen mice and soldiers. She is comforted backstage by the ballet master and the dancers playing Clara and the Sugar Plum Fairy, who share their own stories of performance mishaps. The story unfolds with skillful pacing and a delicate balance between Tallulah’s free-wheeling thoughts (indicated in a different typeface) and the dramatic tension of the ballet rehearsals and performance. Boiger’s whimsical watercolors are beautifully composed, creating captivating scenes of dance class, the backstage area and the performance.

Tallulah shines as a real little dancer with her own distinct style, learning step by step.

(Picture book. 4-8)