Hello, friends! Our book today is Parker Shines On: Another Extraordinary Moment, written by Parker Curry and Jessica Curry, and illustrated by Brittany Jackson.
A sequel to the real life-inspired Parker Looks Up, we catch up with the irrepressible Parker and her young siblings, Ava and Cash. Parker is a wonderful and caring older sister, always making time to play and have silly dance parties with her little sibs. However, when she’s in ballet class, she stays focused on learning how to be a “real” dancer. Inspired by Mira – a new and talented dancer in class – and a collection of legendary Black ballet dancers, Parker resolves to dedicate her dancing at home to serious practice… even if it means less silly dancing with Ava and Cash. Yet when the big recital comes, Parker may reconsider everything she thought about what it means to be a “real” dancer…
Wonderful. There are several themes at play throughout the story, and they dovetail nicely in the climax, telling a story that encourages kindness and supportive friendship/siblinghood, as well as balancing passion and commitment to one’s endeavors. I especially liked moments that subverted typical tropes; for instance, when another dancer is more talented than Parker and wins the solo in the recital, Parker reacts with support and admiration rather than jealousy. It’s a small moment, but a great reminder that another’s shine does not dim our own. Jackson’s illustrations are graceful and heartwarming, the length is great, and JJ throughly enjoyed the story, but this former dancer does have a quibble: several ballet terms are used incorrectly, and Parker and her fellow students are shown dancing en pointe at far too young an age (which can permanently injure a dancer’s feet). Otherwise, this is a lovely continuation of Parker’s story, and we liked it. Baby Bookworm approved!
(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)