Book Review: Sugar Plum Ballerinas - Perfectly Prima

Filed under: That's Entertainment, Books, New In Pop Culture

Whoopi's no slouch in the author department. Credit: Disney Hyperion Books.

Sugar Plum Ballerinas: Perfectly Prima by Whoopi Goldberg (Disney, $17)

I suppose there are people out there for whom a celebrity's name on a book jacket is a draw. I know for a fact that there are plenty of parents who are immediately turned off by that very same idea, assuming that some famous so-and-so is pumping out dumbed-down nonsense and banking on his or her name to sell it. But in the case of Whoopi Goldberg, we need to remind ourselves that the celeb in question got her start as a writer, having penned a critically acclaimed one-woman show that ran on Broadway. Her Sugar Plum Ballerinas books are sweet, moving, and genuinely funny.

Perfectly Prima, the third book in the series, focuses on Jerzey Mae, the least coordinated of a trio of dance-class-taking sisters. Jerzey, who narrates the tale, is referred to in the book as "fussy" and "a perfectionist," though her habits border on obsessive-compulsive disorder (she roils over the fact that one of her crayons is not twisted to face label-up). She is very down on her inability to nail the choreography that her siblings (including her troublemaking little brother) all seem to have no problem with. She eventually realizes that she might need to rely on Mason, the aforementioned little brother, to help her get the routine down before a recital.

Jerzey's I-love-him-but-he's-going-to-ruin-my-life relationship with Mason is reminiscent of that between Peter and Fudge in Judy Blume's Superfudge books. There are a lot of laughs in the book, but just as many heartwarmingly sweet moments to coo over. And I don't mean that in a bad (i.e. saccharine) way. Perfectly Prima is an endearing and humorous story -- and not just for the tutu-obsessed.

Whoopi Goldberg

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.