Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
A sensitive exploration of a boy's triumph over the objections of his parents to his becoming a ballet dancer. Ages 10-14. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Kirkus Book Review
A sentimental sugarplum about gifted dancing lad Doone Penny, who's so relentlessly adorable that one would like to clout him with a weighted ballet shoe (as does spiteful sister Crystal, also in training for the dance). At first, however, little Doone, neglected child of greengrocer William and former choline Maud, slowly discovers his need to dance within the shadow of sister Crystal, Maud's spoiled darling--who begins her career at the seedy, loose ballet-school of aged Madame Tamara. So six-year-old Doone, still grieving over the loss of shop assistant Beppo (Maud fired him), a crippled former acrobat who taught him to tumble, is allowed to follow Crystal to class and carry her shoes. At Madame T.'s, he sops up some dance know-how, becoming friendly with ill pianist Mr. Felix--who'll eventually give him lessons. And then, while Crystal shows mild promise (more show than basics), Doone, filling in for an absent girl in an audition, is a small sensation: he becomes increasingly noticed, particularly at Crystal's new school (conducted by a principal of Her Majesty's Ballet Company); Crystal, attracted only by ballet glamour, loses interest--except for a crush on gorgeous dance-great Yuri Koszorz. So finally, while Crystal's into scrapes and tantrums, little Doone plods on, his eyes filling with tears at intervals--surviving Crystal's sabotage stunts to triumph on the telly and in a solo for Yuri and ""the Lady"" (a real-life dance great). Goopy treacle overall--with neither the substance of Godden's better fiction nor the charming, realistic dance-drama of Julie L'Enfant's The Dancers of Sycamore Street (1983). Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.