Ballewiena Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

“For a dachshund with dancing feet, “sit” and “stay” are just so passé.

Possessed with the soul, if not the body, of a ballet dancer, Dotty would much rather pirouette and glissade down the sidewalk than heel like her polite poodle sisters Jazzebelle and Miffy—and so when her severe trainer Ms. Austere sends her to obedience school, she runs off in tears: “All I want to do is dance.” Despair is transformed to delight, however, after she meets Louis-Pierre, an acrobatic park squirrel whose offer to teach her a thing or two about training and discipline leaves her well prepared to walk onstage at the canine Golden Bow Talent Show and wow the crowd with her grand jeté and pas de chat.”

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Publishers Weekly

“Dotty meets a Balanchine-like squirrel, Louis-Pierre, who encourages her passion while demanding rigorous practice: “Look how much discipline you’ve gained, Pitou! The more focus you have, the better you dance.” This insistence on diligence and commitment propels Dotty to a triumphant performance at the dog talent show, which shows Ms. Austere the error of her ways, and infuses freshness into a familiar-feeling beat-of-one’s-own-drum story (Dotty even realizes why Ms. Austere’s other dogs practice unceasingly). The gouache, watercolor, pencil, ink, and digital illustrations brim with joie de vivre as the wiry pooch spins, leaps, and pursues her dream—readers may find themselves becoming budding balletomanes as the story unfolds.”

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For readers who don’t speak French, the phonetic pronunciations of terms for basic ballet moves are readily available on the endpapers, along with drawings of tutu-clad dachshunds performing each action. The story is well paced, and the lively pictures, created with gouache, watercolor, ink, pencil, and digital elements, portray Dotty as a determined ballerina, performing impressive feats while balanced on her tiny yet strong back legs. A picture-book romp for children who dream of ballet.”

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Foreword Review

“In this inspiring tale, a dance-dazzled dachshund, Dotty, cannot resist mimicking the ballet moves she loves—even when her person, Ms. Austere, issues other commands; even when she’s out on walks among other, baffled dogs. Rendered in grayscale against Dotty’s colorful world, frustrated Ms. Austere boots Dotty off to obedience courses with similarly colorless rules.”

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