Brontorina, written by James Howe and illustrated by Randy Cecil, is a fun romp through big old Brontorina’s desire to be a ballerina. But she is a dinosaur, she is too big, and she does not have the right shoes. Madame Lucille invites her to the dance studio anyway, and much to everyone’s surprise, Brontorina can relevé, jeté, and plié just like a real ballerina. But she is still just too big. Is it too late for Brontorina’s dreams to come true? Or will Madame Lucille and the other kids figure out a solution for Brontorina, their big ballerina?

-I want to dance!

-Then you must, my dear.


Size is an obvious choice here, because of the drastic size difference between Brontorina and the other children. In graphic design, size is used to create contrast and interest in an image. Differences in elements’ sizes is often used to maintain balance in a composition. This is what Randy Cecil has done quite masterfully here.

Because Brontorina is so much larger than the other tiny dancers, there is a satisfactory amount of tension in each image. Each illustration maintains just enough of a size difference to be playful and dynamic but not overwhelming. The element of size helps to tell Randy Cecil’s story graphically, and ultimately it’s the element of size that closes James Howe’s story as well.

To all the teachers, who insist we must dance anyway, thank you.