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I believed my daughter when she told me she wanted to take gymnastics instead of ballet. I don’t think I should have.
She is a ballerina.
Once she stopped ballet, her level of obsession with it only rose. She insisted on checking book after book about ballet out from the library. I am pretty sure we’ve read most of them now! Here are our favorites.
Our newest favorites are the Tallulah books by Marilyn Singer. Tallulah is adorable and realistic – she thinks she’s much older than she is, she thinks she’s an amazing ballerina, and she doesn’t understand why she can’t have a tutu RIGHTNOW. So, you know, a lot like Libbie. We’re all in love with Tallulah and Singer’s four books about her: Tallulah’s Tutu, Tallulah’s Toe Shoes, Tallulah’s Solo, and Tallulah’s Nutcracker.
Rachel Isadora has several beautiful ballet books, including Lili On Stage and On Your Toes: A Ballet ABC. There are three Lili books, but this one is Libbie’s favorite, because Lili is in a performance of The Nutcracker. The watercolor illustrations are dreamy, and Isadora really shows what it is like to be a child in a professional ballet performance. Isadora also wrote Bea at Ballet, which is better for your 2-to-4-year-old crowd of tiny dancers.
Brontorina just wants to be a ballerina. So what if she can’t fit in the studio? So what if she doesn’t have the right shoes? She WILL overcome and learn to dance! This one is good for giggles and a lesson in overcoming obstacles.
And for some more paleontological fun, read T. Rex at Swan Lake by Lisa Carrier. This T. Rex is tired of being examined by museum visitors and decides to visit the ballet … but can’t stop herself from getting on stage, donning a tutu, and dancing.
Miss Lina’s Ballerinas by Grace Maccarone is Madeline for ballet. Miss Lina’s eight ballerinas do everything in pairs, and everything goes topsy-turvy when number 9 is added to their school.
In Tanya and the Magic Wardrobe by Patricia Lee Gauch, Tanya, an impish little ballerina, is going to see Coppélia with her mother and sister. When they show up too early for the show, Tanya’s curiosity takes her back to the wardrobing room and she has an adventure before she even sees the ballet!
This is actually a series, but we’ve only read this one and Presenting Tanya, the Ugly Duckling.
Others worth a mention:
- Belinda the Ballerina by Amy Young
- Angelina Ballerina by Katharine Holabird
- Time for Ballet by Adele Geras
- Honorable Mention to The Yellow Tutu by Kirsten Bramsen, which isn’t really about ballet, but I love it.
What books about ballet do you and your kids love?