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BALLERINA DREAMS by Lauren Thompson


A True Story

by Lauren Thompson & photographed by James Estrin

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Oct. 2nd, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-312-37029-9
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

This lovely book focuses on five little girls who long desperately to be ballerinas on stage. Each has a disability, such as cerebral or Erbs palsy, that affects leg and arm muscles. Fortunately, Joann Ferrara, a woman who wanted to make a difference, began ballet classes for children with these illnesses. Thompson recounts the process of practice, the fun of costumes and bright makeup and the show that the girls ultimately present for their parents. There are more photographs than text, clearly conveying the joy these children feel dancing in their tutus. The text is pithy but leaves the reader with great admiration for Ferrara and the difference she has made in these little ballerinas’ sense of confidence and self-worth. The photographs show the difficulties encountered by these girls as well as the range of ability of motion. However, the overwhelming theme is simply joy. An example of a small idea making things better for a small group of children, this program is truly noteworthy, as is its loving founder. Includes information about Ferrara (as well as the girls’ helpers) and symptoms and treatments for cerebral palsy. (Picture book/nonfiction. 4-8)