Brontorina (James Howe)


Summer Reading Day 51: Today’s book/hat is Brontorina by James Howe. This was a book that came up on a lot of bloggers’ lists when I was looking for book recommendations for my Body Positivity display, and I can totally see why. It’s a great story about Brontorina, an apatosaurus who just knows that she was meant to be a dancer, even if she’s not shaped like the other ballerinas.

The underlying message is one of believing in your dreams, but I also loved how the other characters were so willing to support Brontorina. The dance school’s teacher and students are behind Brontorina and her dreams, with the exception of two characters so in the background that even their words of doubt are diminished to tiny speech bubbles, and not included in the main narrative. Fortunately, the book ends happily for Brontorina, with a final page that brought a tear to my eye. It’s a great length for a one-year-old, and while the illustrations are a little less engaging for a toddler than some of the books we’ve read (they have a pretty limited color scheme), they are adorable nonetheless. Thumbs up from JJ and I!

Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress (Christina Baldacchino)


Summer Reading Day 49: Feeling that I had to somehow make up for the unexpected and unpleasant racism of yesterday’s book, today we read Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress by Christina Baldacchino. This book was recommended to me by a fellow librarian for a storytime display at my Body Positivity/Diversity storytime. It looked interesting, so I brought it home for JJ, and I’m so pleased I did.

The story is about a little boy who loves his mother, his cat, and going to school, especially when he can play with the dress up costumes. He especially likes a tangerine dress (the color of tigers and his mommy’s hair) that makes nice sounds when he moves. Unfortunately, the other children are tease and exclude him when he wears it. Morris perseveres though, refusing to be anyone other than himself. Obviously, this book has a beautiful message: acceptance, self-confidence, and that you should wear whatever makes you happy and comfortable. I loved it, JJ loved it, and moreover, I’m just happy that it exists. Big thumbs up.