Brontorina by James Howe
January 19, 2012 in Elementary Educators, Howe James, Making Personal Connections, Personal Connections, Picture Book, Preschool to 1st grade teachers, Reading Skills, Shared Writing Tags: ballet books, funny picture books, inspirational books for kids
*Picture book, fantasy for preschool through 2nd grade
*Young ambitious dinosaur as main character
*Rating: Brontorina is a very cute book with a powerful message!
Short, short summary: Brontorina has a dream to be a ballerina even though she is a dinosaur. But she doesn’t let her size stop her. She goes to Madame Lucille’s Dance Academy for Boys and Girls and starts to take lessons even though she meets much resistance–she doesn’t have the right shoes, she bumps her head and takes out half the ceiling, etc. But nothing stops her from pursuing her dreams. And with a little help from her ballerina friends, Brontorina’s dreams come true. (Written by James Howe; illustrated by Randy Cecil)
So what do I do with this book?
1. The book begins and ends with this message: “Brontorina had a dream.” “And it all began with a dream.” So, an obvious activity would be to ask students to write/draw about their dream. What do they want to do? What do they want to be? What do they dream? You can take it a step further and ask them how they think they will achieve these dreams? Then compare themselves to Brontorina and her pursuit of a dream.
2. There’s quite a bit of ballerina speak in this book. For children who are familiar already, the illustrations will make perfect sense. For those who do not know what an arabesque is, then you can teach students some new vocabulary. You can also study the illustrations to see if Brontorina is doing the ballet moves correctly or like the others in the illustrations.
3. This book is all about problem solving which is a major life skill as well as a comprehension tool. What are the problems Brontorina has in pursuing her dream as a ballerina? How does she solve these problems?