When he takes shelter in a theater, a young mouse meets a prima ballerina and learns that he was born to dance.
After barely escaping a hungry cat, the mouse is startled to find a grand old theater, brightly lit and filled with music. Enchanted by the sound, he finds himself inspired to dance. He sets to work finding a spot where the humans of the theater won’t trouble him, determined to make this place his new home.
But when he discovers a cozy, wool-lined satin bed—a ballerina’s toe shoe—the tiny creature also finds a new friend. Céleste, the ballerina, names him Tendu and offers him a safe place to settle—and a new dance partner to practice with!
With softly colored illustrations, Jennifer Bell’s mouse-eye view of the theater is luxuriously detailed, from the ornate chandeliers to the carefully-organized clutter of the costume department to the rose wallpaper of the dancer’s dressing room. The cozy warmth of Tendu’s new home is as irresistable as the tiny bow-bedecked dancer himself.
Filled with all the drama of a ballet, this story is perfect for aspiring dancers.
“All the tension and beauty of the ballet are magnified in this melodramatic mouse tale. . . . the reader gets a mouse’s-eye view of the theater’s murky back passages, costume workshop, and the chandelier-lit theater itself, with its velvet seats and ornate plasterwork. Like a character in a classic ballet, our adventurous rodent hero experiences rapture, terror, and longing before finding a safe haven—and a new friend—in a dancer’s quiet dressing room. Bell’s digitally colored pencil illustrations are full of soft hues, rounded sketchy lines, and lots of chintzy ribbons and roses, which give the story a classic, nostalgic look. Hand this to aspiring ballerinas who can’t get enough of the ballet world.”—Booklist
“Carr’s tale is sweetly told with just a hint of danger . . . Bell’s pencil and digitally rendered illustrations in teals and rosy pinks provide a pretty setting for a pretty little tale. A honey-coated story of interspecies friendship.”—Kirkus Reviews
“The illustrations from Tendu’s perspective capture how scary just the feet of the custodian are, not to mention his broom. Curled up in a ballet slipper, Tendu looks vulnerable and irresistible. This resourceful and enthusiastic little mouse captures the beauty and wonder of the world of ballet.”—School Library Journal