Book review: Splashdance, by Liz Starin

Starin, Liz. Splashdance. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2016. Unpaged. $16.99. ISBN 9780374300982. Ages 4-7. P9Q8.

I loved this funny book about a polar bear named Ursula, who with her fickle human partner Ricardo, are practicing for the water ballet championship. When the swimming pool unfairly introduces a policy that forbids bears from swimming (they are too hairy), Ursula has to become inventive to continue an activity that makes her happy. The illustrations are hilarious- I especially loved the spread that shows Ricardo and his new partner Hortense (a giraffe) on one side, and poor depressed Ursula lying under a table- and will leave kids laughing out loud. The serious topics of exclusion and loyalty are clear throughout, and will give parents and teachers a lot to talk about with this book.

VERDICT: I highly recommend this funny book for public libraries and elementary schools.

April 2018 review by Carol Schramm.


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