Author Laura Numeroff is perhaps best known for her work on the “If You Give A…” series of children’s books. These books are well-known by young children and their parents for being silly and for being a great read when it is time to turn off the lights. But Numeroff has written many more books that are not in the series, including books that teach valuable lessons to children. One such tale is all about a dog who decides that she wants to be a dancer, and her friends who are just a bit different than she are.
The Jellybeans and the Big Dance is all about Emily, a dog who loves to dance. She also loves the color pink. She goes to her first dance class and meets a number of other classmates. She hopes that these classmates will share her love of dance, but she quickly learns that they would all rather be doing different things. One would rather play soccer, one would rather paint, and one would like to just watch because it is too shy to dance.
At first Emily is very upset, but in the tale of The Jellybeans and the Big Dance, she doesn’t let that get her down. Her mother takes her to a candy shop where she buys a bag of jellybeans. She then shares the candy with her new friends at her next dance class and shows them how each flavor tastes different but how, when you eat them all, they all go well with the others. This helps the other dancers to realize that they have something that they can impart for the recital that they’re getting ready for!
The Jellybeans and the Big Dance is a truly uplifting story for young children because it helps them to realize that even though everybody is different, we all have something special that we can bring to the table. It is ideal for children from preschool to grade two and, as with most of Numeroff’s books, will not only be enjoyed by children, but by parents as well.