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3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  933 Ratings  ·  162 Reviews
From the sure-footed duo of James Howe and Randy Cecil comes a hugely endearing new character — in a humorous, heart-warming tale about holding on to your dreams.

Brontorina has a dream. She wants to dance. But Brontorina is rather large — too large to fit in Madame Lucille’s dance studio. Brontorina does not have the right shoes, and everyone knows you can’t dance without
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published August 10th 2010 by Candlewick Press (first published July 1st 2010)
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Vampirina Ballerina by Anne Marie PaceSwan by Laurel SnyderNutcracker by E.T.A. HoffmannFancy Nancy and the Mermaid Ballet by Jane O'ConnorBea at Ballet by Rachel Isadora
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Community Reviews

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A fun, sweet and humorous tale of Brontorina, the dinosaur who loves to dance ballet. Trouble is, she doesn't exactly have the, um, classic ballerina body. She proves the dance teacher and students wrong when she actually CAN dance ballet, but the trouble is, she is just so big, too big for the studio, and too big for a male dancer to lift for a pas de deux. But, Brontorina's heart is the heart of a ballerina and inspires her dance teacher to figure out a solution.

This is a great story not only
Jubilation Lee
"On the ouside, I am a dinosaur, but in my heart," gushes Brontorina, as the children below her dodge pieces of falling ceiling and weave between immense stampy dinosaur feet, "I... am a ballerina!"

Okay, seriously, I just can't not love this book.

Four solid stars not only for the hysterical pictures of poor bug-eyed Brontorina trying to Arabesque whilst getting her head stuck in the rafters, but also for the snarky little comments being made by the rest of the (really, really well integrated) b
I love this book! Brontorina is the most adorable drawn dinosaur ever. And her personality (as well as the other characters') is so well portrayed. I'm a little thrown by some of the sideways eyeballs for turned heads, but my attention was usually taken by Brontorina. I love her attempts at dancing. And I adore the end. A fabulous book. Could be very fun in a preschool storytime, and definitely as a lap-read.

P.S. Perhaps I love this even more because of my own childhood ballerina dreams.

5/5/11 I
Gail Cooke
Sep 18, 2010 Gail Cooke rated it it was amazing

James Howe, the popular children's book author of some 80 books for young readers, has crafted a captivating tale that reminds us of what may happen when we hold fast to our dream.

Brontorina wants to dance, she wants to become a ballerina. Well, she has all the enthusiasm and determination in the world but not much else. She's way too tall, too big, and too heavy – she's a dinosaur. Where in the world could a dinosaur even find toe shoes?

Nonetheless, Madame Lucille, proprietor of Madame Lucil
Nov 11, 2010 Ana rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Brontorina had a dream... and her dream was to dance. Despite not having the right shoes and being... well, a dinosaur, in her heart, Brontorina Apatosaurus ("I even sound like a dancer, don't you agree?" She asks Madame Lucille) was a ballerina.

This is a wonderful story that lovingly illustrates both unconditional acceptance and the importance of holding on to one's dreams, making things possible by looking, not at what might seem like obstacles, but at those things that we can turn into possi
JUST when I was feeling cranky about a big pile of mediocre picture books, Brontorina jeted enthusiastically onto my desk. ("On the outside, I am a dinosaur. But in my heart, I am a ballerina!") Love Madame Lucille's matter-of-fact acceptance of a dinosaur in her studio. ("Please try not to squash the other dancers.") Love that boys and girls are in the multicultural class. Love the two girls who remain unimpressed the entire book ("She still doesn't have the right shoes."). Love the ...more
Joleene Libby
Jul 27, 2015 Joleene Libby rated it it was amazing
Shelves: edu-511, dinosaurs, ballet
Brontorina is an apatosaurus who more than anything wants to be a ballerina. Madame Lucille agrees to teach her at her dance academy but Brontorina runs into some problems in the dance studio.

Best Line- Brontorina blushed. "On the outside, I am a dinosaur. But in my heart-" "You are a ballerina!" cried Clara and Jack.

Lesson Ideas- Persevering, Problem solving
Nancy Jo Lambert
May 22, 2011 Nancy Jo Lambert rated it it was amazing

Love this book about a dinosaur with ballerina dreams!
Jan 05, 2011 Angela rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011, picture-book
Who knew the guy who wrote Bunnicula is still alive and writing picture books?
Een grappig boek over een dinosaurus die ballet wil gaan doen. Alleen is ze te groot, en heeft ze geen schoentjes! Het einde was erg lief, en ik moest wel lachen om dat extra bordje wat een van de koeien neerzette. :P Ook was het wel hilarisch om te zien hoe het hele plafond wel gesloopt elke keer als de dino zich strekte of een sprongetje deed.
Richie Partington
Jul 17, 2013 Richie Partington rated it it was amazing
29 May 2010 BRONTORINA by James Howe and Randy Cecil, ill., Candlewick, August 2010, 32p., ISBN: 978-0-7636-4437-6

"There will come a time when everybody who is lonely will be free to sing and dance and love.
There will come a time when every evil that we know will be an evil that we can rise above."
-- Frank Zappa

“It is just a fact. The men go off and fight the wars and fly the airplanes and come back and help design and build and test them. The fact that women are not in this field is a fact of o
Sep 29, 2016 Ryan rated it really liked it
Every dinosaur who wants to dance should. First you have to get the right shoes and the right place to practice. You are never too big to be a ballerina.
Tom Franklin
Sep 18, 2016 Tom Franklin rated it it was amazing
What starts as a silly concept (a Brontosaurus who wants to learn ballet) becomes a much deeper story with side Mean Girl comments and an instructor who respects the need to dance within everyone. The thinking-outside-the-box resolution elevates the story even more.
Jane G Meyer
Mar 09, 2011 Jane G Meyer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
I loved this book. We've read it again and again and the story is goofy and fun and full of good thoughts. Despite the focus on dancing, it's a great read for boys and girls.

Brontorina is a dinosaur who wants to dance. The teacher, a wise and wiry old ballerina, invites her into the studio, seeing how her desire matches her size. Unfortunately, the dinosaur really doesn't fit, and instead of the story ending with the dinosaur having to find another studio, or not dance, or..., the teacher goes o
Sunday Cummins
Mar 20, 2011 Sunday Cummins rated it liked it
THEME - Identity; not who you are to outsiders...or what you look like - a dinosaur, but who you are on the inside - a dancer and how your learning environment can be changed to tap into that identity...

Amazon Best Books of the Month, August 2010: From Syd Hoff’s Danny and the Dinosaur (1958) to Jane Yolen’s How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight (2000), very early readers have long befriended dinosaurs between the pages of a book. The interaction of these enormous creatures rendered as lovable, comic c
Sep 27, 2015 Josiah rated it it was ok
In the last several years, author James Howe has become mostly a picture-book writer, teaming up with a varied assortment of illustrators to forge creative ideas and memorable characters for the pleasure of the youngest of emerging readers. Brontorina is a pretty good continuation of that new career emphasis.

Being much, much larger than any of her human peers, Brontorina finds it hard to gain acceptance into a ballet class. She has the heart of a dancer and wishes to learn to be as daintily sk
Apr 16, 2012 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: text-set
Brontorina is about a dinosaur named Brontorina who wants to be a ballerina. Although the dance teacher Madame Lucille wants Brontorina to succeed as a ballerina and accepts her into her studio, there is no denying that she is too big and eventually Madame Lucille is forced to tell her dancing will not work out. However, the other dance students do not give up on Brontorina. The dance students make Madame Lucille realize that it is not Brontorina that is too big, but that it is the studio that ...more
Baby Bookworm
Aug 02, 2016 Baby Bookworm rated it it was amazing
Summer Reading Day 51: Today's book/hat is Brontorina by James Howe. This was a book that came up on a lot of bloggers' lists when I was looking for book recommendations for my Body Positivity display, and I can totally see why. It's a great story about Brontorina, an apatosaurus who just knows that she was meant to be a dancer, even if she's not shaped like the other ballerinas.

The underlying message is one of believing in your dreams, but I also loved how the other characters were so willing t
Young Reader Reaction: I initially selected Bronterina but they asked for it a lot. My kds really enjoyed it. Since the story combined two of my daughter's favorite subjects: dinosaurs and ballet, I knew this book would be a success. There are some sillier parts in the book which went over very well.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is one of those books I did not get tired of reading. The illustrations are beautiful and the narrative is sweet and funny. There are several asides in the book in the for
Green Bean
Nov 15, 2010 Green Bean rated it it was amazing
There was Margot Fonteyne. There was Martha Graham. There was Baryshnikov. And now, there is Brontorina! Madame Lucille is skeptical when Brontorina shows up at the door of her dance academy with a big heart and even bigger feet! Egged on by Jack and Clara, Madame begrudgingly concedes saying, "Please try not to squash the other dancers." Plie goes ok, but Brontorina's jetes and releves are through the roof! And not in a good way. Brontorina's especially high hopes are nearly dashed, but the ...more
Amy Forrester
Jan 24, 2012 Amy Forrester rated it it was amazing
Brontorina Apatosaurus is a dinosaur who dreams of becoming a ballerina. She goes to Madame Lucille’s Dance Academy. At first Madame Lucille and her students resist the idea of a dancing dinosaur; She doesn’t even have the right shoes! But Brontorina is so determined that Madame Lucille cannot refuse. Brontorina gracefully executes her arabesques and jetés, but the simple fact is that she’s too big for the dance studio.Madame Lucille decides the problem is not that the dinosaur is too big for ...more
Hannah Givens
Sep 02, 2014 Hannah Givens rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
Super cute story about a dinosaur who knows she's meant to be a ballerina. As other reviewers have pointed out, the ballet class is very well integrated (there's a little boy in the class and everything!) and even though some of the students make snarky little comments about her shoes, it's a welcoming class and some of them make a special effort to help her, like getting enormous ballet shoes for her. I loved the lesson, that she wasn't too big for the studio, the studio was too small for her! ...more
Bridget R. Wilson
Brontorina wants to be a ballerina. There's just one problem...she's a dinosaur. The studio's too small, she doesn't have the proper shoes, but Brontorina does have determination. With a little thought, these problems are nothing when compared to her dream of being a ballerina.

What I thought: A gem of a book. I like the idea of using dinosaurs to show children how to dream. Brontorina is a truly unique character. The illustrations are good--no lines and bright colors. My favorite is Brontorina i
Dec 06, 2014 Gina rated it really liked it
Brontorina by James Howe is a story about a dinosaur named Brontorina who's only wish is to become a ballerina. Brontorina goes to a dance studio and begs the teacher to let her join the studio and practice ballet. The ballerinas helped Bronterina practice but she was just too big for ballet. But the kids worked together to find a place to have all the boys, girls, and dinosaurs are able to practice their dance moves.
Broctorina has fun illustrations that help to add to the story. The bright colo
Nov 27, 2013 D.peabody rated it really liked it
Brontorina Apatosaurus wants to be a ballerina but she does not have the right shoes and she is too big! Despite Madame Lucilles best efforts Brontorina just does not fit into the studio. Just as it is decided that all is lost Clara's mother presents Brontorina with the 'right' shoes in just her size! The 'can-do' attitude is contagious and soon Brontorina's other problems are solved too.

This is a great story which encourages the reader to think with an open mind. I love the illustrations especi
May 10, 2013 Erin rated it it was amazing
Brontorina is about a dinosaur that dreams of becoming a ballerina, when she begins taking ballet at Madame Lucille’s Dance Academy she unfortunately finds that her size is getting in her way, and everyone else’s as well. The characters are drawn amusingly with various shaped faces and cockeyed eyes, and the illustrations done in oil are intricate and unique with the fine brush strokes made visible. Brontorina is depicted as a sweet-natured, oversized dinosaur that readers cannot help but love, ...more
Nov 11, 2012 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
A "follow your dreams" story with a twist! All Brontorina Apatosaurus wants in life is to become a ballerina, but it's tricky when you're a giant dinosaur! After introducing herself to Madame Lucille at her Dance Academy, Brotorina tries repeatedly to follow along with dance classes despite the giggles and naysayers in her class. Eventually, Madame Lucille realizes that with enough determination, and a little creativity, there are ways her class can help Brontorina become a wonderful dancer. ...more
Eva Leger
Oct 09, 2010 Eva Leger rated it liked it
Shelves: julias-books
Julia and I both really enjoyed Brontorina. Randy Cecil is a great illustrator and that glares out at anyone who opens this book. I fell in love on the first page,
The story is about a Brontosaurus, Brontorina, who wants to be a ballerina.
There are problems with this, her size is one problem and her lack of ballet shoes another.
Brontorina overcomes both of these problems, with help from Madame Lucille and her dance students.
This isn't just for dino or ballet fans - any kid can easily enjoy th
Jan 15, 2012 Jenny rated it really liked it
A Beehive Book Award nominee. Darling story of Brontorina, who is a dinosaur who loves to dance. But she has some problems... she doesn't have the right shoes and she is too big to dance in the dance studio, and none of the male dancers can pick her up. Will Brontorina's determination to dance, and help from her friends, allow her to reach her dream? As we were reading, my 6 yo stopped me to point out the similarities between Brontorina and Martin Luther King Jr. And my 3 yo LOVES dinosaurs, so ...more
Best for kids ages 4 and up.
Early Literacy Skills: Print Motivation, Vocabulary, Narrative Skills

From cover:
Brontorina has a dream. "I want to dance!" she said. But Brontorina was rather large - too large to fit in Madame Lucille's dance studio. And Brontorina did not have the right shoes - and everyone knows you can't dance without the proper dance shoes. Still, Brontorina knew, deep in her heart, that she was meant to be a ballerina.

Whimsical, bright illustrations paired with a fanciful stor
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

James Howe has written more than eighty books in the thirty-plus years he's been writing for young readers. It sometimes confuses people that the author of the humorous Bunnicula series also wrote the dark young adult novel, The Watcher, or such beginning reader series as Pi
More about James Howe...

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