Ballet Bunnies

Ballet Bunnies: The New Class
Ballet Bunnies: Let’s Dance
Ballet Bunnies: Millie’s Birthday

Swapna Reddy, illustrated by Binny Talib
Oxford University Press

This series for newly independent readers will definitely appeal to a certain sector of readers; these are the first three of what will eventually be six books starring young Millie and the four tiny magical bunnies residing at Miss Luisa’s School of Dance that she attends. Each one has a wealth of cute full-colour illustrations by Binny Talib.

In the first story we meet six-year old Millie who excitedly attends her first lesson, only to receive an almost instant put-down from the star of the class, Amber. As the class continues Millie’s despondency grows as she finds herself unable to accomplish the perfect-looking, graceful steps of her fellow classmates and at the end of the class she’s left alone to wait for her mum to collect her.

Suddenly she notices a moving shadow behind the stage curtain and discovers to her surprise, Dolly, Trixie, Fifi and Pod the miniature dancing bunnies. Perhaps these friendly little creatures can make all the difference to her time at the ballet school.

Swapna offers an encouraging voice to youngsters feeling somewhat disheartened by a new challenge especially when some classmates are less than kind. Support and warmth are powerful forces in the face of anxiety.

In Let’s Dance, Millie and her entire ballet school are to dance at a gala performance. Moreover, they’re to perform with props and the theme is ‘The Garden’: Millie’s class will be flower fairies. Teamwork is essential but not every class member is a hundred per cent co-operative. What will happen on performance night?

The third book begins on the last day before the holidays at ballet school with Millie’s birthday fast approaching. As she helps clear up, she shares with the bunnies her anxieties about the large number of people invited to her party to celebrate her, as her furry friends point out.

The bunnies agree to accompany Millie home to help her cope with the ballet-themed party; but can she keep them hidden from her mum and will it be a Happy Birthday when Millie turns seven?

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