Little ballerinas have big dreams. Dreams of pirouettes and grande jetes, dreams of attending the best ballet schools and of dancing starring roles on stage. But in Harlem in the 1950s, dreams don’t always come true—they take a lot of work and a lot of hope. And sometimes hope is hard to come by.
But the first African-American prima ballerina, Janet Collins, did make her dreams come true. And those dreams inspired ballerinas everywhere, showing them that the color of their skin couldn’t stop them from becoming a star.
In a lyrical tale as beautiful as a dance en pointe, Kristy Dempsey and Floyd Cooper tell the story of one little ballerina who was inspired by Janet Collins to make her own dreams come true.
Kristy Dempsey is the author of 8 picture books, including Me with You, Surfer Chick and Superhero Instruction Manual, a 2017 ILA/CBC Children’s Choice selection and 2017 Southern Book Prize nominee. Her titles have received starred reviews in Kirkus, Booklist, and School Library Journal, and A Dance Like Starlightwas named a JLG selection, ALA Notable Book, Bank Street Best of 2015, CCBC 2015 Choice, and the winner of the 2015 Golden Kite Award for Picture Book Text. Kristy is a member of SCBWI and a speaker and teacher at writing conferences, most recently for SCBWI Carolinas and the Highlights Foundation. Since 1998, Kristy has lived in Belo Horizonte, Brazil with her husband and three children, where she works as a middle school and high school English teacher at The American School of Belo Horizonte. She is also a frequent presenter at schools nationally and internationally, where her programs inspire students’ love for (and skills in!) reading and writing, as well as ideals of empathy, personal responsibility, and perseverance. Find out more about Kristy’s school visits, as well as forthcoming titles, at www.kristydempsey.com.
Floyd Cooper (www.floydcooper.com) always dreamed of becoming an artist, and he has now illustrated dozens of books for children, including Jump! (From the Life of Michael Jordan), Back of the Bus, and Max and the Tag-Along Moon. He received a Coretta Scott King Award for his illustrations in The Blacker the Berry and a Coretta Scott King Honor for his illustrations in Brown Honey in Broomwheat Tea and I Have Heard of a Land. He lives in New Jersey with his family. Follow him on Twitter @floydcooper4.