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The Jellybeans and the Big Dance

Last updated Thursday, February 24, 2011

Author: Laura Numeroff
Illustrator: Lynn Munsinger
Date of Publication: 2008
ISBN: 081099352X
Grade Level: Kindergarten    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Mar. 2011

Synopsis: From Booklist
Little Emily loves to dance anywhere, anytime, so she’s disappointed when she enters a ballet class and discovers that her fellow students don’t share her passion. Bitsy prefers to paint, Nicole loves soccer, and Anna likes to read. After many frustrations, Emily finds a way to unite her classmates, and making use of each girl’s interest, the group puts together a routine and performs enthusiastically at the recital. This mines familiar themes about pushing past differences and finding similarities with new friends, but the text is well paced and includes clever, whimsical touches. In addition, Munsinger’s illustrations add great depth and emotion to the story in scenes of the friends, portrayed as childlike animals of different species. Many little ones, particularly those facing their own performance jitters, will see themselves in the tiny, tutu-clad critters who simmer, worry, and then reassure one another before their jubilant debut. Not a necessary purchase, but a sure hit with kids on the dance-recital circuit.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What animals are there in the book?
•  What activity are they doing?
•  Have you ever made a friend while playing a sport or an afterschool activity?
•  What type of candy was in the book?
•  What types of candy do you like?

•  Recital - a musical entertainment given usually by a single performer or by a performer and one or more accompanists.
•  Disappointed - depressed or discouraged by the failure of one's.
•  Twirled - to cause to rotate rapidly; spin; revolve; whirl.
•  Fumbled - to make or handle clumsily or inefficiently.
•  Boogie Woogie - to dance, an action of movement with the body and rhythm.

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What was the candy they called themselves?
•  What animals are the dancers?
•  Who is Emily?
•  What sport did Nicole play?
•  The first letter of each girl's name spelled what?
•  Miss Tingly-Weezer taught what kind of class?

Craft ideas:
•  Draw your favorite activity or what you like to do with your friends.
•  If you were a bug what bug would you be? Draw it or create a new bug.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!