4Stars Dance Class #2: Romeo and Juliet Beka Papercutz Printing 978-1597073172 No. of Pages: 48 Ages:7 and up ......................... The girls from Dance Class: Julie, Alia, Lucie, and Carla, are getting ready for their production of "Romeo and Juliet," which may be the wackiest version ever produced! Of course, Julie lands the coveted role of Juliet, which makesCarla very jealous. But who should play Romeo? Well, would you believe a hip-hop dancer named Tim? And will Tim and Julie actually fall in love, just like Romeo and Juliet? .................
The Dance Class Series are graphic novels with humor laced through each page. Each page is like a one-line joke, or an arc, ala soap operas. It does add up to a complete book that makes absolute sense, in its own wacky, fun way. The ballet troupe returns for dance class and play practice. On each page, the reader enters one of the dancers’ moments, usually comically timed, with a punch line in the last bubble.
In one vignette (above), Alia is stretching and studying her math book. Julie and Lucie say it would be nice if it were possible to study dance while in math class. Alia thinks about it and figures out how to do just that.
Girls will loves this graphic book of ballet dancers and the antics of their days learning and rehearsing for the big production play of
Romeo and Juliet. The usual suspects are there, the three best friends Julie, Alia, and Lucie, and their main nemesis Carla.
A new student, hip hopping Tim, is casted as Romeo and the four girls compete for his affections and the role of Juliet. When Carla misses out to Julie, she goes into revenge mode, and the modern update of the Shakespeare classic becomes a comedy of errors, due to teen jealousy.
The illustrations are colorful, lively, and expressive. If you read book one of the Dance Class Series, you know that the book was larger than this one. In the world of children’s publishing, the smaller the book, the older the intended reader. Who knew? Apparently, Papercutz, and their parent company Macmillan, understand the psychology of children’s books.
The writer and illustrator team of Beka* and Crip are the French artists who conceived these graphic gems. As I write this review of Book 2, Book 3: African Folk Dance Fever is hitting bookstore shelves. I hope to get a copy and review it here soon.
Girls ages six to sixteen will love Dance Class: Romeo and Juliet. The story revolves mainly around the actions and emotions of teenage girls. I doubt many boys will find this one interesting, though there are always exceptions.
The Dance Class books are good reads for reluctant readers. The text is clear and not at a lower reading level than one would expect. The story is manageable at 48 pages, engaging and connects with the illustrations to make for one complete read.
One key to getting a reluctant reader to read is finding a story about something they are passionate about or love doing. For these reasons and more, The Dance Class Series is perfect for reluctant readers. It is also perfect for kids who like graphic novels, a good story, humor, and dance.
*Beka is short for the writing team of Bertrand Escaich and Caroline Rogue
Author: Beka* website Illustrator: Crip website Publisher: Papercutz Printing website Release Date: July 3, 2012 ISBN: 978-1597073172 Number of Pages: 48 Ages: 7 and up .................