Summer holidays are in full swing. So let’s head to the beach to catch a show in today’s Perfect Picture Book.
Title: The Crab Ballet
Written By: Renée LaTulippe
Illustrated By: Cécile Metzger
Publisher/Date: Cameron Kids, a division of Abrams/2022
Suitable for Ages: 4-8
Themes/Topics: ballet, the sea, sea creatures, poetry
Welcome. Enter. Sit right there
upon our finest driftwood chair.
Enjoy our sunset seaside show –
our dancers are beyond compare.
Brief Synopsis: Sea creatures perform a sunset show.
Links to Resources:
- Visit the seashore and see how many of the featured creatures you can find;
- Synchronized swimming combines dance moves with swimming. Watch some moves and an explanation of the sport here.
Why I Like this Book:
With lyrical language and an AABA rhyming scheme that is a joy to read aloud, LaTulippe transports readers to a seaside show featuring a cast of familiar sea creatures. As an avid snorkeler and lover of ballet, I know I’ll never look at sea creatures again without wondering if they’re performing in “tidal roles.”
I love that the text incorporates French ballet terms as well as information about the sea creatures. For instance, fans “sit stunned” watching an urchin’s en pointe dance, starfish use their “tube feet”, and the dolphins, as they often do, dance as a pair further out in the water.
Metzger’s dreamy watercolor illustrations transported me straight to the sea and are the perfect accompaniment to LaTulippe’s lyrical text.
The Crab Ballet is wonderful for lovers of dance and the sea. Its quieter storyline is perfect to lull children to sleep with visions of dancing crabs swirling through their heads. Its glossary of ballet terms enhances its appeal.
A Note about Craft:
LaTulippe deftly combines two unrelated subjects, dance and sea creatures, to create a magical picture book. She weaves in ballet terms throughout the text, and she pairs the dances with the appropriate sea creatures.
This Perfect Picture Book entry is being added to Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Book list. Check out the other great picture books featured there!