Diana Dances

Annick. Mar. 2019. 40p. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781773212487.
K-Gr 2–Young Diana is bored at school and never gets good grades. After some failed attempts with a math tutor, Diana’s mother takes her to a physician and then a psychologist to get to the bottom of Diana’s difficulty concentrating. The psychologist sterotypically uses Rorschach blots—not what a contemporary child would experience in therapy. When the psychologist and Diana’s mother convene in the other room, Diana cannot control her natural urge to dance to the music left playing in the office. The psychologist proclaims, “Madam, your daughter is not sick! Your daughter is a dancer!” and thus, Diana gains a new definition for herself. Though readers will be pleased that Diana has found a positive outlet, the book seems to send mixed messages about therapy—going is okay, but dance lessons will cure everything. It seems that Diana is a kinesthetic learner, but the text draws a loose correlation between Diana’s dancing and newfound success at school: “She discovered that it was easier for her to think if she was moving.”
VERDICT Overly simplified themes make this an unlikely title for motivational reading; purchase where demand for dance-themed picture books is high.

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