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Gigi by Carly Mottinger

The loveable duo of Gigi and little sis Birdie are back in Gigi: The Ballet Recital, which follows the tale of our bubbly heroine Gigi as she and Birdie prepare for the big annual ballet recital. Normally, this event is the highlight of Gigi’s year, but this time, something is different: Gigi has been put in the back row (gasp!) and now no one is going to be able to see her. Why even dance at all?? Gigi’s mojo has suddenly pirouetted off and left her with a case of the ballet blues. But, when the recital rolls around and first-timer Birdie panics out on stage, big sis Gigi rushes to the rescue and unexpectedly rediscovers the reason she loves to dance (spoiler alert: it doesn’t have anything to do with the audience!). This relatable story of how things don’t always meet our expectations is a perfect way to help kids deal with life’s inevitable disappointments. Gigi’s journey from sadness and self-pity to the selfless act that lets her find her joy and passion again is a great lesson in resilience. The beautiful illustrations will appeal to the budding ballerina (there are fluffy tutus and satin slippers galore!), and the silly antics of the sisters as they practice their dancing (doing a pointed toe high five at the dinner table or jumping “gracefully” on the bed) are a guaranteed belly laugh. And, even when the tale takes its sad turn, Gigi’s exaggerated glumness will elicit giggles of recognition from little readers. The simple and sweet storytelling is captivating for all ages, as at the heart of the story is the relationship between the siblings (a fun continuation of the glimpse we got in the prequel, “Gigi: Big Sister”), portrayed here with a joyfulness and warmth that jumps off the page. Gigi and Birdie are the best of friends, and it’s inspirational to see how they help each other through this toe-shoe trauma and come out stronger on the other side. No doubt these two will have many adventures to come!
Genre: Children's
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