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RUBY ROSE by Rob Sanders


Off to School She Goes

by Rob Sanders ; illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Pub Date: June 21st, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-06-223569-5
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Dance should be a 24/7 activity—or so believes one young fan.

A little girl, clad in fashionable fuchsia, has a total dance mindset. “Dancing is a big part of me!” Starting school, meeting her teacher, and classroom activities all translate into dance routines as Ruby arabesques, pirouettes, and promenades in front of her disapproving teacher and a shushing librarian. Mere lines are not for Ruby’s class. They tap dance to lunch, where Ruby leaps and cancans with her tray. Finally quieting down, Ruby asks her teacher when they will dance. Hearing that there just isn’t time for dance at school, Ruby jumps up in horror and upsets a very large ant farm—causing everyone, including the teacher, to dance frantically about. Ruby feels vindicated and suffers no pangs of guilt or concern at what she has wrought. Dance is certainly an important art and should be part of a curriculum, but Ruby unfortunately takes her enthusiasm, bordering on obsession, to an unpleasant extreme. The digitally rendered artwork depicts children and teachers of diverse colors if not facial features, but the sketchy figures, which are outlined in black and set against a white background, give the pages a slapdash, unfinished look.

Artistic expression clashes with classroom discipline, and neither is the winner.

(Picture book. 3-6)