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Josephine Wants to Dance

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  398 ratings  ·  43 reviews
From the award-winning duo of Diary of a Wombat comes another hilarious tale of a bush animal you'll never forget.

Josephine is a kangaroo - who loves to dance. Her little brother, Joey, tells her that kangaroos don't dance, they hop - but Josephine continues to point her toes and leap through the air.

When a ballet troupe comes to town and both the lead ballerina and unders
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 25th 2006 by Harpercolins (first published 2006)
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Average rating 3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  398 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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Melissa Barbier
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Wouldn't be a keeper if it didn't have my daughter's name in it. ...more
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The importance of self-confidence is revealed when Josephine dismisses those who say she can't dance and takes a chance to follow her dream. ...more
Cassandra Gelvin
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Kangaroo power!

It's a very Australian book, and does not shy away from that. The main character is a kangaroo who wants to learn how to dance. Her brother keeps repeatedly telling her that she should stop trying to learn how to dance, because kangaroos don't dance. She sees that there's a ballet performance coming soon in town, so she sneaks into the (human) town and watches them practice night after night. She already knew how to dance somewhat by watching other animals and how they move. But n
Sean Harding
Dec 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Like the great duos of many fields, French and Whatley are another, and in their books, with great stories and illustrations they give us good fun and entertainment. This one about a ballerina kangaroo is ridiculous, funny and a good story, with great illustrations. Everything you want in a picture book and more.
Molly Cluff (Library!)
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
A kangaroo wants to be a ballerina, and fills in at the ballet when the lead dancer sprains her ankle. Everyone loves her! I like the part where they have to quickly retrofit the tutu to make it work for a kangaroo.
Jul 25, 2018 rated it liked it
The pictures are hilarious. I wish it was more fun to read.
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I liked it, but not nearly as much as Mothball the Wombats books...or Pete the Sheep-Sheep for that matter.
Nov 17, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Freddie D
Apr 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: australian, classic
A wonderful Aussie tale of a kangaroo ballerina. You do you, sister!
Lara Bate
Jan 22, 2021 rated it liked it
A book about a kangaroo who dances!
Amy Forrester
Oct 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Josephine is a kangaroo who loves to dance. All the animals have taught her different ways to dance. The emus taught her to point her toes and she soars with the eagles to the music of the wind. Even though her brother tells her, “Kangaroos don’t dance! They jump!”, Josephine doesn’t care. She wants to dance more! Then one day a ballet company comes to Shaggy Gully. As Josephine watches rehearsals through a window she gets her big break. The prima ballerina has twisted her ankle and her understu ...more
author: Jackie French
illustrator: Bruce Whatley
First Published: 2006

Visiting my nieces I borrowed a pile of picture books to share with them. It is expected of this Aunty that, come 6am, they're allowed to climb into bed with me and we read together.

I love it.

They look forward to it.

We get to nurture a really special relationship that they will remember.

Part way through our pile the 4yo pops up and declares she has to get something. Her favourite book.

Josephine Wants to Dance.

Ultimately, it's a
Tammy J
Sep 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book introduces Josephine a Kangraoo who wants to dance. Her friends random animals in Australia tell her she can't dance. How often have you heard you can't do something that you wanted to do? She is a brilliant animal who doesn't care what others think. She has great self-confidence and doesn't listen. Others see that she loves to dance and they show her how. She is set on getting into the Ballet. She watches human dance she she understands what it is about.

The illustrations go along wit
Jack Kirby and the X-man
Another Jackie French/Bruce Whatley Shaggy Gully book. Their collaboration has produced some fantastic books (Diary of a Wombat, Pete the Sheep-Sheep, etc), and this book continues the tradition.

Definately a book targetted at the 'girlie girl' market - with plenty of pink, dancing, tutus, and brothers! But despite the wrapping the story is universal - don't limit your goals to what seems possible.

As always Jackie provides insight into the inspiration for the story on her website.
Josephine loves to dance. She dreams of wearing a pink tutu and silk ballet shoes. But everyone reminds her that kangaroos don’t dance—they hop! Kangaroos don’t wear tutus, and they never wear ballet shoes! So Josephine sneaks into town, where the ballet rehearses, and watches for hours as the dancers spin and swirl and pirouette and curtsy.

But on the day of the ballet performance, the prima ballerina twists her ankle and a new dancer is needed for the lead role, a dancer who can jump higher th
Apr 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This sweet tale is of a courageous young kangaroo that follows her passion for dance, even when everyone is telling her that she will never be able to reach her goals. Josephine never wavered and in the end proved everyone wrong. Kids will love the dancing, talking animals. I enjoyed how Bruce Whatley used some of the characters from other stories he illustrated for Jackie French in this book as "extras." ...more
Oct 06, 2011 rated it liked it
This was a cute book about a kangaroo wanting to dance. There are illustrations of some Australian animals, like the brolgas and lyrebirds. I think there was even a wombat on the last page. I'm not sure how fairly this piece of literature depicts the society in Australia, but it was a cute way to introduce some animals to readers. ...more
Nola Lorraine
Apr 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
An enchanting book with a great message and lovely illustrations. Josephine the kangaroo loves to dance even though her spoil-sport brother keeps telling her that she should be jumping instead. However, Josephine doesn't listen to the detractors and follows her dream. A fun book about doing what you were born to do. ...more
The Library Lady
Nov 30, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Ballerina wanna be that I am, I wish I could jump as high and spin as beautifully as Josephine, and little ballerinas will like this one too. And even kids who don't like dancing will cheer for someone who does what she dreams of doing, even if she's been told she can't do it! ...more
Miss Bookiverse
I read this book at the bookstore because it's by Jackie French and I love "The Diary Of A Wombat". This book also has a fantastic supersweet story (about a kangaroo that just wants to dance ballet) and great drawings. ...more
Aug 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rll-595
Josephine Wants to Dance is an excellent example of perseverance. Josephine doesn't let others influence her and she works hard to become a wonderful dancer. It shows students that if they work hard they will succeed and may even encourage others. ...more
Jan 10, 2009 rated it liked it
In this book, a kangaroo wants to dance. Well, her brother says, "No, Kangaroos JUMP!" But when she sees the different kind of dancing, nothing can stop her. To find out more, read Josephine Wants to Dance. ...more
Jun 13, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
A wonderful tale about a kangaroo who wants to dance ballet. Despite the naysayers, she holds fast to her dream. It's a fun book to read aloud and is wonderful for introducing lesser-known animals from Australia. We really enjoyed reading this book together. ...more
Aug 30, 2010 rated it liked it
Jacinta enjoyed this one for the dance element, as well as the pictures of various Australian animals. She enjoyed the quirky elements like finding a sheep and a few dogs in the audience and the wombat wearing a tutu at the end.:)
Feb 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
This is a darling book about a kangaroo who wants to dance, and is undeterred when she's told that's not what kangaroos do. The artwork is simple but appealing, and the story is fun and with a positive message. ...more
Jill Smith
Oct 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Jackie French delivers wonderfully entertaining picture books and this is not exception. This is another delightful journey for my grand daughters to take with me. Josephine doesn't do what is expected of her and the results are astounding. ...more
Feb 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Great story about a kangaroo who wants to dance ballet. Krisna loves it!
Andrea Perrin
Aug 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This was an adorable story just right for little girls who love to dance. It brought a clear message that you can do anything you want to do if you persevere.
Apr 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-lit
another recent Gracie favorite, from the same school of thought as Woolbur.
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Jackie is an award-winning writer, wombat negotiator and the Australian Children’s Laureate for 2014-2015. She is regarded as one of Australia’s most popular children’s authors, and writes across all genres - from picture books, history, fantasy, ecology and sci-fi to her much loved historical fiction. In her capacity as Australian Children’s Laureate, ‘Share a Story’ will be the primary philosoph ...more

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