Review of the Week: “Dance! Dance! Underpants!”

Dance Dance UnderpantsShea, Bob. Dance! Dance! Underpants!  Bob Shea, Illus. Easy Reader. Ballet Cat Series; Bk. 2. Disney/Hyperion, 02/2016. [56]pp. $9.99.  978-1-4847-1379-2.  OUTSTANDING GRADES PRE-2.

Butter Bear is paralyzed by the fear that the audience will laugh at the underpants she is wearing when she leaps. Ballet Cat’s message of “dance like no one is watching” is very similar to the secret from the first book of the series, 2015’s The Totally Secret Secret, which also empowered a hesitant animal to follow its heart. As indicated by the title, Dance… is built around potty humor, a sure crowd-pleaser. The ending, where the audience sees past the underpants to the heart that Butter Bear brings to the dance, is somewhat unexpected given the overall tone of high jinks. Shea’s cartoon sketches have a crayon-like quality and great expressions.

Beth Gousman, Montclair School

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