- Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton (1 – 4 years old)
“Everybody sing along—because it’s time to do-si-do in the barnyard with a high-spirited animal crew! From Boynton on Board, the bestselling series of board books, here is BARNYARD DANCE, with Sandra Boynton’s twirling pigs, fiddle-playing cows, and other unforgettable animals. Extra-big, extra-fat, and extra-fun, BARNYARD DANCE features lively rhyming text and a die-cut cover that reveals the wacky characters inside. Guaranteed to get kids and adults stomping their feet.”
- The Night Before My Dance Recital by Natasha Wing (3 – 5 years old)
“It’s the night before a young girl’s first dance recital. At the dress rehearsal, she and her class go over the steps one last time. What if she messes up? she worries. But the next day, she’s ready to perform. When the class spins left she spins right! Without missing a beat, she keeps on dancing and smiling. The Night Before My Dance Recital celebrates this with humor, warmth, and engaging illustrations by Amy Wummer.”
- Song and Dance Man by Karen Ackerman (3 – 7 years old)
“In this affectionate story, three children follow their grandfather up to the attic, where he pulls out his old bowler hat, gold-tipped cane, and his tap shoes. Grandpa once danced on the vaudeville stage, and as he glides across the floor, the children can see what it was like to be a song and dance man. Gammell captures all the story’s inherent joie de vivre with color pencil renderings that leap off the pages. Bespectacled, enthusiastic Grandpa clearly exudes the message that you’re only as old as you feel, but the children respond–as will readers–to the nostalgia of the moment. Utterly original.”
- Ballerino Nate by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (4 years+)
Nate has the heart of a dancer, and he is determined to learn ballet. Even his older brother, Ben, can’t change his mind with his claims that “boys don’t dance.” Or can he? When Ben tells Nate that he’ll have to wear pink shoes and a dress, Nate becomes awfully worried. And when he’s the only boy in his ballet class, he begins to think that Ben is right: Maybe boys don’t dance.
Exuberant and true-to-childhood, this is a warm and funny story about sibling squabbles, the joy of ballet, and best of all, grabbing hold of your dreams.
- Dancing in the Wings by Debbie Allen (4 – 8 years old)
“Sassy is a long-legged girl who always has something to say. She wants to be a ballerina more than anything, but she worries that her too-large feet, too-long legs, and even her big mouth will keep her from her dream. When a famous director comes to visit her class, Sassy does her best to get his attention with her high jumps and bright leotard. Her first attempts are definitely not appreciated, but with Sassy’s persistence, she just might be able to win him over. Dancing in the Wings is loosely based on actress/choreographer Debbie Allen’s own experiences as a young dancer.”
- Brontoria by James Howe (4 – 8 years old)
“Brontorina has a dream. She wants to dance. But Brontorina is rather large — too large to fit in Madame Lucille’s dance studio. Brontorina does not have the right shoes, and everyone knows you can’t dance without the proper footwear. Still, Brontorina knows, deep in her heart, that she is meant to be a ballerina. James Howe introduces a lovable dinosaur whose size is outmatched only by her determination, and whose talent is outmatched only by her charm. Accompanied by Randy Cecil’s beguiling illustrations, here is an irresistible story that proves that no problem is too big when the heart and imagination know no bounds.”
- A Dictionary of Dance by Liz Murphy (4 – 8 years old)
“Dance is not just an art, it’s a whole different language! In A Dictionary of Dance, readers will learn about arabesques, break dancing, choreographers, and the zones of the body — everything that comes together to make a dance, whether it’s ballet or the polka. Liz Murphy’s dynamic and expressive artwork is sure to inspire readers of all ages to get up and dance!”
- Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina by Misty Copeland (8 – 12 years old)
As the first African-American principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre, Misty Copeland has been breaking down all kinds of barriers in the world of dance. But when she first started dancing—at the late age of thirteen—no one would have guessed the shy, underprivileged girl would one day make history in her field. Her road to excellence was not easy—a chaotic home life, with several siblings and a single mother, was a stark contrast to the control and comfort she found on stage. And when her home life and incredible dance promise begin to clash, Misty had to learn to stand up for herself and navigate a complex relationship with her mother, while pursuing her ballet dreams.
- Stompin’ at the Savoy: The Story of Norma Miller by Alan Govenar (9 – 12 years old)
“In this invigorating, humorous, and thought-provoking oral autobiography, Alan Govenar captures the sound and spirit of Norma Miller’s voice as she recalls her early years and coming of age as a determined young dancer during the heyday of swing. Augmenting her lively narrative are Martin French’s jazzy, singlecolor illustrations, evoking the vibrant style of vintage poster art.”
- A Young Dancer: The Life of an Aiely Student by Valerie Gladstone (10 – 14 years old)
“Meet Iman Bright, a thirteen-year-old student at the prestigious Ailey School in New York City. Iman is passionate about dance, but she also enjoys drawing, playing music, and of course, hanging out with her friends. Follow Iman as she warms up at the barre, practices violin, and gets ready for a performance with her fellow students.
In descriptive words and striking photographs, this informative picture book provides fascinating insight into the world of dance through the voice of one very talented young performer.”