For those who are starting to dream of pirouettes and pointe shoes.
In this epistolary picture book from “Little Dancer” to “Ballerina,” who responds, this young, admiring protagonist describes what she likes about ballet: tiptoeing in ballet slippers, bending and stretching, jumping and turning. Little Dancer describes how she prepares for a performance, works hard in rehearsals, enjoys getting fitted for her tutu, and delights in wearing stage makeup. Little Dancer also loves seeing Ballerina’s name sewn into her tutu; it was once Ballerina’s. Awaiting her turn to perform, Little Dancer watches Ballerina from the wings as Ballerina dances with a male lead before an eager audience. When she finally gets her turn on stage with Ballerina, Little Dancer “dream[s] of being an amazing ballerina” too. Backgrounds awash in pastel pinks, yellows, greens, and purples create a joyous mood, and the thin, sans-serif type compliments the elegance of this art form. Text and illustrations in the backmatter explain some of the accoutrements of ballet, such as needle and thread, leg warmers, and a leotard. Although the illustrations depict both Little Dancer and Ballerina with light-brown skin and show a multicultural cast of little ballerinas—both male and female—with different skin and eye colors, their uniformly round heads and body types somewhat detract from the message that ballet is truly inclusive.
A tender story that teaches young readers that ballet isn’t just about performing—it’s also about relationships.(Picture book. 4-8)