11 Best Children’s Books for Your Little Ballerina
Whether she takes ballet lessons and performs at recitals . . . or she simply pirouettes around the living room wearing her favorite tutu, your daughter is a prima ballerina at heart. So encourage her love of dance, and teach her more about ballet, by reading a few entertaining and educational books together.
Not sure where to begin? We have done the legwork for you and rounded up a dozen delightful ballerina books that preschoolers through primary students will adore.
By Marilyn Singer and illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
Tallulah believes she lacks the one thing that will change her from an ordinary little girl into a celebrated ballerina: a tutu. At her first ballet lesson, she learns she must earn her coveted tutu. And that realization means a major meltdown and a decision to quit. But is she really ready to give up ballet? Children will enjoy the rich illustrations in this book as they learn a valuable lesson about perseverance.
By Kirsten Hall Ages and illustrated by Anne Kennedy
Early readers will relish this book about a little girl playing dress up. With just the right costume, she is the star in her own ballet – alongside her fluffy cat and cuddly bear. This easy-to-read book fosters imaginative play.
By James Mayhew
Children who love fairy tales and will appreciate this collection, starring a young girl named Ella Bella who yearns to be a beautiful ballerina. She discovers a magical music box owned by her ballet teacher, Madam Rosa. And she is carried away to enchanted lands where she encounters the likes of Cinderella and the Swan Princess.
By Debbie Allen and illustrated by Kadir Nelson
Sassy longs to be a dancer, but she’s self-conscious about her long legs and large feet. That is, until she learns that she can use these traits to her advantage. Readers will learn that not only is it okay to be different, but also that differences really can be a gift.
By Jane O'Connor and illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser
Wanting to teach her whole family about ballet, Nancy decides to open her very own ballet school. Whether your child is already a Fancy Nancy fan or this is her first time “meeting” the charming character, she is sure to delight in this vibrant book.
By Wendy Cheyette Lewison and illustrated by Mary Morgan
If getting your little ballerina to remove her tutu is a battle, you will both relate to Tillie and her mama. Tillie wears her tutu everywhere . . . that is, until it rips. Tillie learns that other clothes can be just as fun and maybe even more practical. But tutus are still perfect for dance class!
By Grace Maccarone and illustrated by Christine Davenier
The charming rhymes in this book –the first in a series– relay the tale of eight little ballerinas who meet the latest girl to join Miss Lina’s ballet class. The girls learn that change can be difficult, but it can also result in wonderful things, like new friends.
By Sherri DeWeese and illustrated by Shida Davis
Like many girls, Kylie dreams of being a ballerina, but she doesn’t believe that she can actually learn how to dance. Find out together whether it’s a pair of magic ballet shoes – or the love of her family – that enables Kylie to become a real ballerina.
By Kristy Dempsey and illustrated by Floyd Cooper
In 1950s Harlem, a little girl wishes to be a ballerina against all odds. Inspired by the life of Janet Collins, the first African American ballerina at the Metropolitan Opera, this magnificently illustrated book can teach your child about diversity and perseverance.
By James Howe and illustrated by Randy Cecil
Ballerina dreams are a common theme, and this story blends an amusing premise with heartfelt aspirations. As her name suggests, Brontorina is a dinosaur who longs to be a ballerina. The problem is, she’s simply too big. She cannot fit inside the dance studio or even find ballet slippers that can go over her feet. But Brontorina’s family and friends find a way to help her reach her dreams, even though she’s a little different.
By Angela Hunt and illustrated by Crystel Sundberg
Lola Li loves tutus, so when Nana sends a box full of them – enough for each day of the week – Lola is very excited. Because of her enthusiasm, Lola decides to forgo assigning days to her tutus. Instead, she wears them all at once. Readers can learn about having too much of a good thing. Younger children will enjoy reviewing colors in this vividly illustrated book.
Next time you visit the library, head to the bookstore or download a new bedtime story, give one (or more!) of these books a try. Oh, and make sure you have a tutu handy!
Do you have a ballerina in the house? How do you feed her passion?
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