The Thea Sisters are thrilled about the new performing arts program being offered at Mouseford Academy. That is, until they meet the head of the department, the demanding and strict Professor Ratyshnikov. The mouselets will have to audition just to get into her class. On top of that, the famouse ballerina is an old friend of Headmaster de Mousus, but the two no longer get along. It is up to the Thea Sisters to find out why.
My 10 year old daughter is a lover of the Geronimo & Thea Stilton books, so this was a natural choice to review for us, I say us as we read this book together jointly as whilst she is a great reader her comprehension is still a work in progress! However, what I like best about these books are is how easy they flow, their expression and great use of varied vocabulary which engages my child in the storyline.
Thea Stilton, Dance Challenge is a story of the Thea Sisters or Mouselets as they are known at Mouseford Academy, who excitedly start their year at the Academy looking forward to the new performing arts section which will be led by the famous Professor Camille Ratyshnikov. The professor arrives, but she's all business and seems to have a chip on her shoulder particularly with the Academy and the headmaster. The Mouselets set out to uncover what her problem is by delving into the history of the Academy as both the professor and the headmaster were past students, all the while creating and practising an audition (twice!) to impress the Professor.
The moral of the story is "Second Chances", which was brilliantly told. This lead to my daughter and I comparing this lesson to happenings in her life and she was able to give me examples, which was fantastic. As always I have no hesitation in recommending all Stilton books to young readers.
The Thea sisters are the best of friends who are always keen to try new things and when the Mouseford, academy enriches its programme by adding the new performing arts the Thea sisters are keen to enrol! The book starts with everyone reacquainting themselves after the summer holidays. The excitement mounts as the new teacher is a celebrity! Violets excitement dampens a little when it is revealed the new teacher is none other than Professor Ratyshnikov, whose temper and high expectations were as famous as she was. Her friends hadn't heard about that side of the new Professors personality and Violet wasn't going to be the one to enlighten them.
Of course where ever the girls go a mystery always follows, and the first inkling of one comes with the arrival of a little red sports car, and Professor Sparkle who tells the girls that Professor Ratyshnikov and the School Principal were the best of friends, yet a falling out between the two means they are no longer friends.
The stakes are high when students have to audition for a spot in Professor Ratyshnikov's class, but not all students are going to play fair when it comes to making sure they get a spot in the class. The book follows the same magical recipe that this series is known for, but this still seems a successful mixture which sees young readers delight in these books and reread them again and again. All the Stilton books in our house have that 'worn' look about them, as they have been read again and again. The descriptive language I read within the book is picked up by young readers in a natural manner, and their reading and oral skill set are built in a natural and fun way.
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