Tari: the Little Balinese Dancer

Pamela Noensie

illustrated by Garretta Lamore
Tuttle 2017
A book review by Danny Yee © 2018 https://dannyreviews.com/
The Little Balinese Dancer is a children's picturebook about a young Balinese girl, centred on the death of her grandmother and the passing on of traditional culture as she learns the legong dance. The background is everyday life in Bali — the rice harvest, buying food in banana-leaves, sniffing as a greeting, gamelan music — and something of Balinese religion — origin myths, the layout of the house compound, cremation ceremonies and so forth. This is all integrated into the story completely naturally, however, with Pamela Noensie finding what seems to me just the right tone.

The illustrations by Garretta Lamore are an elegant fit for the story. And the text is large and the vocabulary and syntax unthreatening; Tari worked as an early reader for us as well as a picturebook.

Read Tari for a moving and thoughtful approach to a grandparent's death, and a vivid and compelling entry into a different culture. It is the most impressive of the children's books about or set in Bali that I have seen.

September 2018

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%T Tari: the Little Balinese Dancer
%A Noensie, Pamela
%Q Lamore, Garretta
%I Tuttle
%D 2017
%G ISBN-13 9780804848985
%P 32pp