Posted by: montclairlibrary | November 6, 2016

En pointe

Ballet books, a list by the Friends of Montclair Library

This Tuesday, November 8, at 1pm, dancers from the Oakland Ballet will be at the library to share a few steps with the kids, describe their lives as dancers and maybe tell a story, all in costume.

Get warmed up for their visit with these ballet-themed children’s books from Oakland Public Library. Biographies, fairy tales, dancers overcoming adversity, depictions of ballet classes both realistic and silly, even a dinosaur who wants to dance – this list has it all. And it has the dubious distinction of being quite possibly the pinkest book list we’ve ever done.

On Your Toes: A Ballet ABC by Rachel Isadora (J 792.8 ISADORA) – Each letter of the alphabet is represented by an illustration of a ballet-related word.

Ballet Bunnies by Joan Elizabeth Goodman (J 792.8 GOODMAN) – This ballet primer demonstrates basic technique in ballet, from warm-ups to the barre to the hop, skip, twirl and wiggle fun of centerwork.

Firebird: Ballerina Misty Copeland Shows a Young Girl How to Dance Like the Firebird by Misty Copeland (J PICBK COPELAND) – American Ballet Theater soloist Misty Copeland encourages a young ballet student by telling her that she too had to learn basic steps and how to be graceful when starting out.

The Random House Book of Stories from the Ballet retold by Geraldine McCaughrean (J 792.84 McCAUGHRE) – Tells the stories of classic ballets like “Swan Lake,” “The Nutcracker” and “The Sleeping Beauty.”

Emma and Julia Love Ballet by Barbara McClintock (J PICBK McCLINTOCK) – This story follows the everyday life of two girls, one a professional ballerina, the other a student, both of whom love ballet.

Lili at Ballet by Rachel Isadora (J PICBK ISADORA) – Lili dreams of becoming a ballerina and goes to her ballet lessons four afternoons a week as she prepares to appear in “The Nutcracker.”

Little Ballet Star by Adèle Geras (J PICBK GERAS) – Tilly is thrilled when she gets to see her aunt perform in the ballet, “The Sleeping Beauty,” especially because she gets to go backstage and even on the stage itself.

Angelina Ballerina by Katharine Holabird (J PICBK HOLABIRD) – A little mouse wants to become a ballerina more than anything else in the world.

A Dance Like Starlight: One Ballerina’s Dream by Kristy Dempsey (J PICBK DEMPSEY) – A young girl growing up in Harlem in the 1950s, whose mother cleans and stitches costumes for a ballet company, dreams of becoming a prima ballerina one day, and is thrilled to see a performance of Janet Collins, the first prima ballerina of color.

Miss Lina’s Ballerinas by Grace Maccarone (J PICBK MACCARONE) – Ballet instructor Miss Lina has a solution when her eight students, who always dance in pairs, are distraught when a ninth girl joins the class.

Brontorina by James Howe (J PICBK HOWE) – Despite her size and not having the proper footwear, a determined dinosaur pursues her dream of becoming a ballerina.

Ballerino Nate by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (J PICBK BRADLEY) (not at Montclair) – After seeing a ballet performance, Nate decides he wants to learn ballet but he has doubts when his brother Ben tells him that only girls can be ballerinas.

If you can’t get enough books about ballet, there are lots more ballet books at the library; this is just a sample. You can also look up these book lists from No Time for Flashcards and Sugar, Spice & Glitter for more ideas.


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