The Extraordinarily Ordinary Life of Prince: Everybody’s Good at Something is a heartwarming story about a boy who finds his passion—and acceptance from others—in ballet.
Prince—not the famed musical artist, despite the amount of purple and glam on the cover—loves adventure stories and exploring outside. He also enjoys sports, but finds that he’s not very good at them, despite his older brother’s best efforts. As the story opens, Prince is teased by classmates for that reality: “What are you good at?” they chide. “I’m not really sure I’m good at anything at all,” he admits.
Soon after, Prince’s mother takes the family to a performance, and Prince is smitten by the elegance and power of ballet. He’s teased at school after he begins ballet classes, but his mother teaches him to politely defend himself.
After a public performance, he prepares himself to be teased by his classmates, “but the strangest thing happened,” the narrator notes. He’s saved by his gym teacher, who announces that he himself took dance classes before becoming a pro athlete and has everyone practice dance for a month. As Prince demonstrates his dancing skill over the next few weeks, he’s finally respected by his classmates.
This story addresses a common problem for children. Both the text and narrative arc are lengthy for a picture book, however, and perhaps better suited for those who are beginning to read short chapter books.
That said, Prince’s emotions and style are well-represented in the pictures, which are expressive and colorful. And the advice about bullying could apply to kindergarteners and other early readers; parents might consider reading the story aloud to their young children.
Despite its target audience issue, this picture book offers a worthy message for those seeking a story about a child who learns to follow his heart and stand up for his choices.
Also available in paperback and ebook.