PreSchool-Grade 3-Clorinda is happy with her bovine life on the farm until the fateful November day that she goes into town to vote, and ends up watching a ballet. Deciding to become a dancer, she puts on a tutu and practices in the barn on a stage that a farmhand builds for her. Although the other animals are not supportive ("No, no. That won't do./You're only a cow, and what they do is MOO!"), the farmhand is more encouraging, and Clorinda heads for New York City. She takes a job waiting tables to pay the bills and continues going on auditions. She finally gets her big break in Giselle, but soon comes to realize that dancing is not the best occupation for a cow. She heads home only to realize that she can still perform there. The colorful and zany illustrations are classic Kellogg. The pictures are filled with motion, and Clorinda manages to achieve a certain grace, despite her lumbering appearance. The spread where she flattens the dance partner who is trying to catch her is laugh-out-loud funny. This story told in rhyme is sure to produce many chuckles from youngsters who will delight in Clorinda's dreams of stardom.
Kristin de Lacoste, South Regional Public Library, Pembroke Pines, FL
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
PreS-Gr. 2. Clorinda is just a farm cow until she goes to the ballet. There, a dream is born. A clever rhyming text (which successfully scans!) follows Clorinda to New York, where she waits tables as she hopes for the chance to show the world she can really dance. Rejection? Of course: "We simply aren't hiring cows now, my dear." But she perseveres, and is finally able to phone Farmer Len with the news that she's going to dance Giselle. Still, there are problems. She warns fellow dancer Lou that he may not be able to catch her, and, sure enough, in a marvelous two-page spread, the worst happens: Lou is flattened. But the crowd cheers anyway, applauding the dancers' willingness to do their best. Clorinda's debut is also her closing night, but her return to the farm is triumphant; she's enlisted to teach ballet to a delighted array of pigs, chicks, cats, and ducks. As fine a mix of story and message as this is, it's the irrepressible art that makes this book shine. Kellogg is at the top of his game, finding the humor in every line, whipping his scenes into a design so varied that children will never be bored, and offering a bovine so divine that it's hard to take your eyes off her. Much applause for Clorinda. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.