Cover Image: Franz-Ferdinand The Dancing Walrus

Franz-Ferdinand The Dancing Walrus

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Member Reviews

A gentle plot with a unique set of details. The conflict, such as it is, is brief and conveys little drama.
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The pictures in this book are beautiful, but I was disappointed that there wasn’t more of them.  I couldn’t help but feel like something was off in the speech pattern that was used.  I liked the idea of a walrus joining the flamingo ballet school, but was very disappointed that the teacher was fired for letting Frank-Ferdinand into the school.  I am not sure what kind of message that is sending since there was no real resolution to this issue.  The idea of introducing children to ocean pollution is a wonderful idea, but it wasn’t handled well in this story.  Mentioning how the walruses use the garbage that they find in the ocean and then writing a letter to the reader after the story doesn’t make any sense to me.  So I loved the pictures, but didn’t like the rest of the story and because of this I wouldn’t recommend it to others.
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THIS IS A MARVELOUS BOOK. Honestly, I would give more than 5 stars.

Franz-Ferdinand the walrus was enchanted of ballet by watching the flamingo ballet school he saw practices every day. But to join one, he has to cover himself a bit, somehow. So he has to find a tutu, somewhere in the Greenland. Sadly, all he can find is trashes thrown by humans.

A beautiful story of a walrus who wants to dance like those skinny flamingos, with a message on how dirty the oceans with our litters. How inappropriate to send our waste to those animals who do us no wrong.
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This is such a cute book!    
The author did a great job including facts about walruses and pollution of our oceans while integrating a cute story about a walrus that loved to dance ballet. I also liked that he touched on the fact that not everyone agreed or liked the walrus dancing, but he still found a way despite the naysayers. 
A great book for little ones! I loved it and will be recommending it.

Thank you NorthSouth Books, Inc. and NetGalley for the advanced reader copy.
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This book was very inconsistent as far as characterizations went. The walrus was described as lazy but he practiced in secret enough that he was able to perfectly dance a ballet piece the first time he joined the group. Furthermore, the other walruses who didn't even want to dance apparently became fantastic dancers in only a few weeks. As someone who has studied and taught ballet and other styles of dance for many years, let me tell you, that's not how dance works. It takes years of training and I would have liked to see more of a challenge in that aspect of the story. I disliked that ballet was presented as 1) very easy, and 2) very feminine - case in point, the walrus who is identified as male decided to make a tutu when he was told he needed to find clothes.

The flamingo dance teacher was initially presented as someone who would oppose the walrus dancing but she immediately accepted him after she realized he could dance, after which, her students and their parents turned on her. This was another inconsistency. It presented them as a company, which would imply that they are professionals, but after the walrus joins, suddenly all her students were revealed to be minors, whose parents immediately pulled them out of classes because they didn't approve.

The references to climate change and pollution were very forced and seemed to be added to add a takeaway or "call to action" for readers with the end note about not polluting the oceans. The explanation of why the flamingos were in the snow was awkward, half-baked, and unnecessary. If readers can suspend their disbelief to accept that a walrus could dance, they can accept that a flamingo ballet company lives in the snow.
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"Franz-Ferdinand The Dancing Walrus" is a silly and fun story that shows just how trash can be dangerous to animals in the wild.
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Franz-Ferdinand the walrus does not like to move. After all, he's quite large. And he's fought hard to have his own rock! And yet, he can't help but be intrigued by the flamingos dancing nearby. In fact, the only thing Franz-Ferdinand wants more than to stay on his rock . . . is to get up and dance with the flamingos.
Marcus Pfister, author and illustrator of Rainbow Fish, once again delights with his beautiful art, this time with a visit to the great Pacific garbage patch. Readers will love Franz-Ferdinand's determination to achieve his dream, even against the greatest of odds, and will sympathize with things not going exactly the way he planned. Aspiring ballerinas will especially love watching Franz-Ferdinand attempt to plie, glisse, and pirouette. Packed with information both on walruses and on protecting our oceans, Franz-Ferdinand the Dancing Walrus is sure to delight!
A big shout out to North South Books for the early read, which is coming your way July 6!
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I love all related ballet books, especially the ones for children and young people, because I can recommend to the parents or students, to increase their love for dance. 
This book also has two interesting topics, one, the inclusion of a different body and look in dance, so this is greatly appreciated at this time. And also, has an interesting look at the plastic problem in oceans. Since the history, it's pretty simple, I think young children could find a very enjoyable reading and some lessons about other themes equally important. 
I certainly recommend this book for any little dancer.
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(I will post this on my blog later as part of a longer book list)

Franz-Ferdinand, a forty-two-year-old bull walrus with huge tusks, suddenly discovers a love for ballet after a group of dancing flamingos shows up in his homeland of Greenland. Despite the fact that Franz-Ferdinand has the wrong body type and doesn’t have a costume, he proves himself to be a very talented dancer. The company director, Madame Flamenco, gladly accepts him into the group. Unfortunately, the other flamingos are not so welcoming. In the end, Madame Flamenco and Franz-Ferdinand must start their own walrus ballet company. This story, originally published in Switzerland, is visually and thematically appealing thanks to the combination of animal facts, ballet, and beautiful artwork featuring the mountains and glaciers of Greenland. The plot is a little weak, though, and the environmentalist message comes across as being a little heavy-handed without contributing much to the story. There’s far more text than is typical of a picture book, making this one better suited for elementary-school readers than for preschoolers.
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I love the Ballet and so I knew I would really love this book. A Walrus that wanted to be a Ballerina is utterly fabulous. Such a wonderful story with beautiful illustrations. I highly recommend this to kids of all ages. Thanks to #netgalley for the advanced reader copy. I loved it.
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Franz Ferdinand loves watching the flamingos dance and dreams about dancing like them. Cn a large walrus dance as graceful as a bird? Read and find out in this cute story about accepting others who are different.
*The review is based on a free copy I received from NetGalley for an honest review.
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Beautiful artwork and cute story. For a children's picture book, there is a LOT of small print on the pages. I'm not in agreement with the author that "the power of dreams is greater than the power of gravity" but it's still a pretty book with a message about litter in the ocean.
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My daughter and I really enjoyed this book! It had great illustrations and a good message. I loved how it talked about keeping the oceans clean and how we can help. 

The only part we didn’t enjoy was it was a lot of info on each page. It would be great for an older kid but for my 2 and 4 year olds, they were getting a little distracted by the time I was finished reading each page. 

Would definitely continue to get books from this author though!
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This book was adorable! My preschooler loved it and laughed out loud, she was particularly interested in Madame Flamenco's character. Even my older child kept running in from the other room to see what we were reading.

I loved the main message - about following your dreams. I think some of the other plot points were a bit advanced for my child's age, but it did not detract from her enjoyment of the book. We recently did an arctic unit for her homeschooling and this would have been a perfect book to include alongside learning about arctic animals. I think it is also a good book to complement Earth Day and lessons about recycling. The illustrations are GORGEOUS. I loved the humor peppered throughout. The premise of a giant walrus being a graceful ballet dancer was great. Dancing flamingos and tutus made of recycled materials were icing on the cake! I am certain my child will want to reread this book often!
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Available October 2021

Being the largest bull walrus, Franz-Ferdinand doesn’t like to move around a lot. However, when he sees a flock of flamingoes (which we are told not to question as to why they are in Greenland) gracefully dancing across the ice, he realizes he loves ballet. He asks to join the ballet, where he is exquisite.

I had hopes for this book. It touches on many topics: following your dreams, not allowing someone’s preconceived ideas to limit you, environmental awareness, and standing up for others. However, in doing so, the book just seems not to hit any target. The illustrations target toddlers and preschoolers, but the writing targets an older audience. The book felt very forced and awkward in every aspect.

Marcus Pfister is beloved by many for his Rainbow Fish books, and I am certain there will be many who also love Franz-Ferdinand The Dancing Walrus. However, if you bothered by how rainbow fish had to change who they were to be accepted by the other fish, you can probably skip this book, too.
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Overall, I was pretty confused by this book. A lot of the sentences were really random and the story was a bit all over the place. The vocabulary in the dialogue also felt very unnatural and forced. Maybe children would love that aspect and find it entertaining, but I'm not an educator so I'm not sure about that. 

I did love the illustrations though! They were beautiful, and a joy to look at. I love how each picture was spread over both pages, instead of having two different illustrations on the two page spread. It made the story feel more cohesive and exciting to read.
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Franz-Ferdinand The Dancing Walrus by by Marcus Pfister is a delightful encouraging story about learning new things and not giving up until the dream come true.  The illustration is beautiful and I really love the beautiful scenery and the walrus and flamingo.  I thought the amount of text and the size of the font was little too small for the kids of younger age to read but the story is very cute and interesting enough to keep kids engaged. Overall, it was fun and encouraging story with great lessons to learn! Snuggle your kids and read with them , then make your own recycled art project afterward!

I want to thank NetGalley and NorthSouth Books Inc. for approving my request for ARC. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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This book was so cute!  The walrus (Franz-Ferdinand) sees some flamingos doing a ballet and thinks to himself, I want to do that to.  This book will show the value of working hard and not letting others tell you what you can and cannot do.  There is also a message about ocean pollution.

Great book for anyone that enjoys a good read.
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This was such a cute book! I should have expected nothing less from the creator of Rainbow Fish. I can’t wait to buy this and read it to my nephew, who loves all things silly animals.
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When I saw this one was from the same author as The Rainbow Fish I was excited to read this one, having loved that one so much as a kid. This one felt a little more disjointed to me, with almost too many themes - be unique, try something new, love who you want to love, save the environment... It just felt clunky to read.
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