Tallulah's Tutu

Book review by
Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media
Tallulah's Tutu Book Poster Image
Imaginative ballet tale teaches meaning of commitment.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Readers will learn about the steps required in learning ballet, and the discipline that's necessary to be a ballet dancer.

Positive Messages

Tallulah's Tutu offers positive messages about perseverance and commitment.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Adults are very engaged and present, but not pushy. Children are realistically self-focused and imaginative.

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Tallulah's Tutu is an imaginative book with a serious message about a young girl's love for ballet and her desire for a tutu. Well suited to arts- and dance-leaning girls and boys, it goes well beyond the dress-up appeal of the costume as it focuses on the commitment and discipline required in dance.

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What's the story?

Tallulah really wants to be a ballerina, and to do that, she believes, she really needs a tutu. Every time she goes to ballet class, she looks for it. She waits for it. She wishes for it. But when it doesn't come, Tallulah must decide how much she really wants to be a ballerina, and how important the tutu is to her success.

Is it any good?

TALLULAH'S TUTU excels at evoking a young girl's imaginative world. Like many young girls who experiment with a constantly changing array of new pursuits, Tallulah longs to become a ballerina -- immediately. She hasn't learned yet about the work, frustration, and patience required to achieve her goal. Adults give Tallulah the space to work it out, even as she takes some time off from ballet to consider in her own way the sacrifices it requires. 

With dreamy illustrations in watercolor and egg yolk, and a relatable tone that accurately portrays young children's idealism and impatience, this book stands in stark contrast to the typical little-girl fare that paints ballet as a fun dress-up game on a par with princess stories. Here, it's a serious commitment and passion that a child must truly come to on his or her own.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about commitment. What does it mean to commit to something? Have you committed to anything? If so, what? How did it go?

  • What's fun about reading books about ballet? Do you think it's hard for an artist to create pictures of people dancing? How does an artist show movement on the page? 

  • How long do you think it takes to be really good at something? What is an activity you are good at? How long did you have to practice to be good at it?

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For kids who love learning about art and dance

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