Practice Makes Perfect: Ready-to-Read Level 1 (Angelina Ballerina)

Practice Makes Perfect: Ready-to-Read Level 1 (Angelina Ballerina)
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
Release Date
May 04, 2021
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In this delightful Level 1 Ready-to-Read, Angelina and her cousin rehearse for their summer festival dance performance!

Angelina and her cousin Henry are paired to dance together at Chipping Cheddar’s summer festival. At first their dance is a mess, but after a lot of practice and patience, they learn to make their dance perfect (or close enough)!

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1 review
Success only comes before Work in the dictionary
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Plot/Characters/Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Angelina loves to dance, and she is looking forward to performing at the Chipping Cheddar summer festival. Her dance class is practicing the dances, and Angelina gets paired with her cousin Henry. She's not happy, because Henry is frequently not as serious about dance as she is, and is having a lot of trouble getting the moves right. She asks her teacher, Miss Lily, for a new partner, but is told that she will have to be patient and work with Henry. Angelina takes her advice, and Henry buckles down to practice. Will all of their hard work lead to a good performance at the festival?
Good Points
While I remember Angelina Ballerina books (and possibly some educational CD-ROM games!) from my own children's early years, I didn't know that the series had been around since 1983 AND had a British television show where Judi Dench voiced one of the characters! Since dance lessons seem to be a popular past time for preschool and early elementary school children, Angelina's adventures with dance have always seemed like they would find lots of readers. What three year old doesn't want a tutu?

The full color line drawings by Helen Craig are absolutely delightful, and even though the author is from the US, these stories always have such a strong British feel. A fête at Chipping Cheddar? Of course! I'm just sad that we only get to see the dance portion and don't get to visit any stalls with baked goods.

Angelina's reluctance to work with her younger cousin is understandable, and many young readers will relate to her experience. It's great that Henry finally starts to work hard, and while the performance isn't perfect, both do a good job because they are well prepared.

Beginning reading books need to be attractive, have a lot of white space, and have large font, and the Ready To Read series is formatted in a way that makes reading the books seem easy. The pages turn quickly, since there is only a sentence or two on each.

Books with media tie-ins are a good way to encourage children to start reading, and Angelina is in good company with characters like Eloise, who stars in picture books, or Daniel Tiger from the television show Mr. Rogers. Adding to the "you can't read just one" quality is the fact that there are many other books where Angelina has adventures ranging from tea parties to sleep overs that will motivate young readers to practice their own reading until it is perfect.
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