Dancing Larry by Daniel Pinkwater

Dancing LarryLarry is a polar bear. He remembers when he was a cub, dancing under the colored lights of the Arctic night sky with his mother and his brother, Roy. Now Larry lives in New Jersey with the Frobisher family in the Hotel Larry, named after himself (that’s another story). Larry often helps out; for example, he walks Mildred Frobisher to her dance lessons. One day he decides to go inside and see what the ballet lessons are all about, and is so moved that he dances along with Mildred and the other little girls. However, Madame Swoboda, the dance instructor, forbids Larry (or any other polar bears for that matter) from participating in ballet class again. So, Larry asks Mildred to show him and his polar bear friends how to dance ballet, and they all put on a show to remember.

I enjoy Dancing Larry for its absurd humor, its bright and lively illustrations, and for the pleasure of meeting the ebullient and generous character of Larry the polar bear. If you’re looking for something fun and offbeat, check out Dancing Larry and the other books in the Larry the Polar Bear series. Or, if joyful and bighearted polar bears don’t do it for you, try one of the Irving and Muktuk stories (Irving and Muktuk are also polar bear residents of New Jersey, but they are known to be “bad bears”). As for me, I’ll read about all the polar bears of New Jersey – the hotelier-rescuing-good and the blueberry-muffin-stealing-bad alike.

Posted by: Parry

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