The Jewel Box Ballerinas

Book review by
Dawn Friedman, Common Sense Media
The Jewel Box Ballerinas Book Poster Image
Gorgeously illustrated friendship fairy tale.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Bibi learns to be a friend.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is a magical tale of friendship.

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What's the story?

Bibi Branchflower is so rich that she buys two of everything. But she doesn't have even one friend. When she buys a mysterious music box with two spinning ballerinas inside, her life begins to change.

Is it any good?

The most striking thing about this book are the gorgeous, detailed paintings that grace every page. A perfect complement to the melancholy fairy tale with an uplifting ending, the illustrations give kids lots to look at. Even the end papers dance with doubles that kids will want to scrutinize.

The marriage of story and illustrator here is superb. While Ana Juan's pictures would shine regardless of the text, the story is enhanced by the extremely stylized characters, somber colors, and mysterious details (the shopkeeper wearing his short fez, for example, and Bibi's big buttons).

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why Bibi might not have had friends before. What things did she learn about being a friend from the ballerinas? What are the qualities of a good friend? Kids might also want to write a letter to Bibi giving her tips on how to be a friend.

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