Bob Shea has created a hilarious and adorable new series for young and emerging readers. Those who enjoy Mo Willem’s Piggie and Elephant series will fall in love this Ballet Cat and her pals. The first two installments of this series has me hoping that there will be many more.
In The Totally Secret Secret (2015), Ballet Cat and Sparkles the Pony cant decide what they want to play. As Sparkles makes suggestions, it becomes more and more apparent that Ballet Cat wants to play….ballet (shocking!). Unfortunately, Sparkles has a totally secret secret that and she is not sure she should share with her best pal Ballet Cat. Thankfully, Ballet Cat has a secret of her own that will put Sparkles at ease. The Totally Secret Secret has themes of friendship, secrets, and differences of opinion that readers of any age can relate to!
Shea’s newest Ballet Cat book, Dance! Dance! Underpants! was released in February of 2016. Ballet Cat returns with more laughs, lessons about friendship, and as always, BALLET! Ballet Cat and her dancing buddy Butter Bear are practicing their leaps. As the duo gets warmed up, Ballet Cat is ready to some super-high leaps, but Butter Bear isn’t too sure. Butter Bear employs some pretty outrageous excuses as to why she cannot join Ballet Cat in the high-flying practice. Butter Bear is too hungry, too thirsty, and too tired. When Ballet Cat finally figures out the REAL reason why Butter Bear is stalling, readers will laugh out loud. Butter Bear and Ballet Cat give us a lesson in the importance of confidence and having your friend’s back.
While it may seem that these books are aimed at readers in K-2, do NOT be fooled, these books are for EVERYONE. The lessons and stories played out in these stories are ones that can be enjoyed by all ages. The humor is silly and light, but Bob Shea even adds a couple of jokes (of the “Bear in the Woods” variety) for adult readers to enjoy. Ballet Cat is a wonderful read aloud, a must have in any library, and would be an awesome addition to a Bob Shea author study.
On Sale: May 5th, 2015
On Sale: February 2nd, 2016
Reviewed by: Paul Orsino