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Dance: Books For Kids

Whether you love to dance in your kitchen, on the stage, in the studio, or at the grocery store, we've gathered the very best books for all of you dance lovers. Dance is a great medium to express yourself, get exercise, have fun, and be creative. Chassé over to your library (or to your online cart), grab as many of these titles as you can find, twirl back home, and boogie over to the couch to get reading about the joy of dance!

Appleblossom the Possum book
#1
Appleblossom the Possum
Written by and illustrated by Holly Goldberg Sloan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Mama has trained up her baby possums in the ways of their breed, and now it’s time for all of them—even little Appleblossom—to make their way in the world. Appleblossom knows the rules: she must never be seen during the day, and she must avoid cars, humans, and the dreaded hairies (sometimes known as dogs). Even so, Appleblossom decides to spy on a human family—and accidentally falls down their chimney! The curious Appleblossom, her faithful brothers—who launch a hilarious rescue mission—and even the little girl in the house have no idea how fascinating the big world can be. But they’re about to find out! With dynamic illustrations, a tight-knit family, and a glimpse at the world from a charming little marsupial’s point of view, this cozy animal story is a perfect read-aloud and a classic in the making.

Giraffes Can't Dance book
#2
Giraffes Can't Dance
Written by Giles Andreae and illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

The message of this book is wonderful--I love that it inspires confidence in oneself and not worrying about what others think of you, and embracing your differences.

Gerald the giraffe is too clumsy to dance with all the other animals at the Jungle Dance, until he finds the right music. On board pages.

Flora and the Flamingo book
#3
Flora and the Flamingo
Written and illustrated by Molly Idle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

In this wordless book with interactive flaps, a friendship develops between a girl named Flora and a graceful flamingo, as they learn to dance together.

Giant Dance Party book
#4
Giant Dance Party
Written by Betsy Bird and illustrated by Brandon Dorman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Betsy Bird knows all there is to know about kids and books. She is the New York Public Library’s youth collections specialist, she writes a blog hosted by School Library Journal, and has served on the Newbery Medal committee. Now Betsy Bird has written a children’s book of her own, Giant Dance Party. In this rollicking picture book, a group of giants shows up at Lexy’s door wanting dance lessons. After some initial hesitation, Lexy is happy to teach them, and her dance classes end with all her students—as well as Lexy herself—overcoming their fears and putting on a boogying performance. Brandon Dorman, an award-winning artist whose work can be found in The Wizard, and on the covers of Fablehaven and Goosebumps, brings the giants and their dance moves to life with his full-color illustrations.

Zombelina book
#5
Zombelina
Written by Kristyn Crow and illustrated by Molly Schaar Idle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A young zombie gives a haunting performance in her first ballet dance recital.

  1. Miss Bunny's Shapes - B is for Bookworm - This colorful, lift-the-flap book talks about different shapes, dancing, and partying at the bunny hop. The text rhymes, and I like that the illustrations have a lot of different details and shapes on the pages.

  2. Barnyard Dance! - The Book Snob Mom - I have fond memories of being read this as a child, reading it myself to younger siblings and now reading it with my own child. Boynton's illustrations are delightful as always, and this one has perfect cadence and just the right amount of silliness.

  3. Let's Dance, Little Pookie - B is for Bookworm - This popular Sandra Boynton read is definitely a fun one. I like that readers can follow along with the dance moves and that it encourages dancing how you like best. I also really enjoy the fun, silly, and lyrical text. :)

  4. The Twelve Dancing Princesses - For generations, children have loved the enchanting story of the twelve beautiful princesses and the handsome young lad who solves the mystery of their tattered shoes. Now Marianna Mayer brings to life all the splendor and romance of this beloved classic, from the dazzling forests Of silver, gold, and diamonds to a twilight palace where the bewitched princesses dance to hypnotic music. And award-winning artist Kinuko Craft add, her own magic: a visual feast of exquisite, jewel-like paintings that sweep across the pages. Together, Mayer and Craft have created an unforgettable world that readers of all ages will want to return to again and again.

Swan book
#10
Swan
Written by Laurel Snyder and illustrated by Julie Morstad
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of Anna Pavlova, a ballerina who came from nothing and worked so hard to achieve her dreams, then traveled to share the joy she found through dance with others.

"Spare, poetic words sit as lightly as snowflakes."—Wall Street Journal "An enchanting glimpse of a dancer whose name has come to be synonymous with her most famous role."—School Library Journal, starred review One night, young Anna's mother takes her to the ballet, and everything is changed. So begins the journey of a girl who will one day grow up to be the most famous prima ballerina of all time, inspiring legions of dancers after her: the brave, the generous, the transcendently gifted Anna Pavlova. Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova is a heartbreakingly beautiful picture book biography perfect for aspiring ballerinas of all ages.

I Can Dance book
#11
I Can Dance
Written and illustrated by Betsy Snyder
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

While the cover might be classified as "girly" by some (don't get me started on the boy books/girl books discussion!), the inside is packed with examples of all types of dance (disco, gymnastics, break-dancing, synchronized swimming, and tap dancing) being executed by both little boy and little girl dancers, so there's plenty of gender diversity going on. The holes for sticking your fingers through to be the dancers legs on each page are fun, both at the baby stage where they try to grab your fingers and giggle as you wiggle them around and as munchkins get older and can do it themselves. The verdict—cute interactive book for getting some of the wiggles out!

Readers make dancers disco, tap, or pirouette just by wiggling their fingers. But wait! There's even more fun. In an impressive gatefold finale, readers use two sets of hands to help the dancers perform an encore. With interactive holes on every page and a satisfying touch-and-feel cover, this charming board book is the perfect way to play and read together.

Llama Llama Hoppity-Hop! book
#12
Llama Llama Hoppity-Hop!
Written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Llama Llama TOUCH! Llama Llama TAP! Llama Llama Red Pajama CLAP, CLAP, CLAP! Can you move like Llama Llama? Watch Llama hop, stretch, touch, and tap in this third board book by Anna Dewdney. Then you can do it, too!

Chicken Dance book
#13
Chicken Dance
Written by Tammi Sauer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Determined to win tickets to an Elvis Poultry concert, hens Marge and Lola enter the Barnyard Talent Show, then, while the ducks who usually win the contest jeer, they test out their abilities.

The Nutcracker book
#14
The Nutcracker
Written by New York City Ballet and illustrated by Valeria Docampo
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Now available in a beautiful board book edition, the New York City Ballet presents a classic ballet tale for a modern ballet lover with George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, a holiday favorite. The New York City Ballet is known for showcasing classic stories of the ballet with their trademark stylish and modern sensibility. For the first time, this beloved holiday story is told based on George Balanchine’s quintessential production. The storyline of this gorgeous board book mimics the choreography of the famous ballet and the illustrations are inspired by the backdrops and scenery from the actual production. The New York City Ballet’s production of the Nutcracker is considered to be “the” leading production in the world. A holiday tradition for many families, now readers who can’t travel to New York will be able to experience this celebratory story. A must-have for every aspiring ballerina’s library and a holiday keepsake for every family’s bookshelf.

  1. Andy & Sandy and the Big Talent Show - Andy and Sandy hit the stage in this fourth book of an easy-to-read picture book series about friendship—from Caldecott and Newbery Honoree Tomie dePaola and Emmy Award–winning writer for the Muppets Jim Lewis. Outgoing Sandy convinces shy Andy to do a dance at the big talent show. The only problem? Andy doesn’t know how to dance! Luckily, Sandy is a good teacher. But when showtime finally arrives, it’s Sandy who freezes up! A true friend through and through, Andy overcomes his shyness to save the performance. Let’s give a standing ovation to friendship! Written in simple words and short, declarative sentences, this book is perfect for little ones just learning to read on their own.

  2. Baby Loves to Boogie! - The Goodfather - In Baby Loves to Boogie, it's fun to see different animals doing all kinds of different dances that seem to match each animal very well. But what the little readers around our home really love to see is baby boogying!

  3. Fancy Nancy: Budding Ballerina - What starts out as dancing school just for Dad quickly turns into a ballet class for Nancy's whole family. Fans of Fancy Nancy will delight in learning to plié, pirouette, and jeté with Nancy as she demonstrates all of the positions she's learned in ballet class. From the New York Times bestselling team Jane O'Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser, who have entertained millions of girls and boys with the Fancy Nancy series.

  4. Dancing in the Wings - Sassy tries out for a summer dance festival in Washington, D.C., despite the other girls' taunts that she is much too tall.

Angelina Ballerina book
#19
Angelina Ballerina
Written by Katharine Holabird and illustrated by Helen Craig
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

A little mouse named Angelina becomes the famous ballerina Mademoiselle Angelina after much practice at Miss Lilly's Ballet School.

The Jellybeans and the Big Dance book
#20
The Jellybeans and the Big Dance
Written by Nate Evans, Laura Numeroff and illustrated by Lynn Munsinger
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Friendship comes in many flavors in the launch of a charming new series by a bestselling author and illustrator team! Laura Numeroff, Nate Evans, and Lynn Munsinger bring readers a fun new group of sweet friends. Just as jellybeans are different colors and flavors, each character in this heartwarming friendship story has a personality and pizzazz that young readers will love. Emily loves to dance and can’t wait to meet the other girls in her class, who are sure to be just like her. But instead she meets Nicole, a tomboy who would rather be playing soccer; Bitsy, who loves arts and crafts; and Anna, a shy bookworm who has no interest at all in dancing. Realizing that they have to work together to make their dance recital a success, the girls learn to love each other’s differences and strengths as they band together and name their group the Jellybeans! The latest picture book by beloved bestselling authors Laura Numeroff and Nate Evans is as sweet as sugar and features four adorable characters that all children will relate to. With joyful illustrations by Lynn Munsinger that dance off the page, The Jellybeans and the Big Dance will inspire readers to dance, prance, and boogie-woogie to the beat of their own drum.

Cockatoo, Too book
#21
Cockatoo, Too
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This book just makes me laugh! I love the word play, and I love how silly everything sounds reading it aloud. The illustrations are cute, too! I recommend this for older children, though, as younger children won't understand the play on words.

Who can can-can? Find out in Cockatoo, Too, a hilarious book that features cockatoos, two more cockatoos, and tutued toucans too, now available as a board book! Cockatoo. Cockatoo two? Cockatoo, too? Two cockatoos! Two cockatoos, too? Cockatoo tutus! Two cockatoos meet two more cockatoos in tutus and two tutued toucans. And then two more! Can they all can-can? They can! The cockatoos and toucans join together for a dance and ask the reader: "Can you can-can, too?" Now even the youngest readers can experience fantastically funny wordplay and lush, vibrant illustrations in this new board book edition of Cockatoo, Too.

Dance book
#22
Dance
Written and illustrated by Matthew Van Fleet
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

From the #1 New York Times bestselling children’s book creator Matthew Van Fleet comes a laugh-out-loud, jazzy story of a little baby chick who learns how to dance from a friendly band of animals who know all the right moves! Shake, shake, shake, shimmy, shimmy, shake! You can dance! Young readers will delight in the charming art, jazzy text, and in pulling the five sturdy pull tabs to make the different animals bounce, shake and bop as they dance to the Hippoppta Hula, Gator Mashed Patater, and more! Listen and dance to the song at VanFleetBooks.com. Get your dancing feet ready!

Love Is a Tutu book
#23
Love Is a Tutu
Written by Amy Novesky and illustrated by Sara Gillingham
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I really love this book, though I may be slightly biased as I grew up dancing. The illustrations are my favorite!!! I love that this book includes dance terminology and vocabulary, which of course adds some French exposure. :)

This beautifully designed and playfully illustrated novelty board book is the perfect starting point for tiny ballerinas and parents alike. Sweet and spare rhymes prance across the pages, engaging the reader with real ballet terms and plenty of pink. Parents and toddlers together will sigh Bravo as they turn off the light.

  1. Duck & Goose, Let's Dance! - "Duck and Goose have fun dancing together as friends"--

  2. Thursday's Children - As he tags along to his spoiled sister's ballet classes, Doone discovers and develops his own rare and special talents.

  3. On stage, please - A young girl begins serious training for a career as a professional dancer.

  4. Ivy and Bean Doomed to Dance - Finally! After begging their parents for ballet lessons, Ivy and Bean finally get what they want...well, not exactly. Much to their surprise, it turns out ballet lessons do not include karate chops and roundhouse kicks to the villain's heart. The girls have no interest in learning how to dance gracefully, but they promised their parents they would finish the entire ballet course! When it comes time for Ivy and Bean to participate in the ocean-themed class recital, the girls must figure out a way to get out of it without breaking their promises. Includes bonus material! - Sneak peek chapter from the next book in the Ivy + Bean series Ivy and Bean What's the Big Idea? by Annie Barrows, illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Ballet Shoes book
#28
Ballet Shoes
Written and illustrated by Noel Streatfeild
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In the tradition of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Little Princess come Noel Streatfeild’s tales of triumph. In this story, three orphan girls vow to make a name for themselves and find their own special talents. With hard work, fame just may be in the stars! Originally published in 1937.

Max book
#29
Max
Written and illustrated by Rachel Isadora
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

ALA Notable Children's Book International Reading Association Classroom Choice A Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies Max is a crack baseball player. Saturday mornings he walks with his sister, Lisa, to her dancing school on his way to the park for his weekly game. One morning Max is early, and Lisa's teacher invites him to join the class. Max stretches at the barre. He struggles for a split. And before he knows it, he's having fun! Young ballplayers and ballet dancers will share Max's delight when he discovers that dance class is a great way to warm up for a home run.

Monster Boogie book
#30
Monster Boogie
Written by Laurie Berkner and illustrated by Ben Clanton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Laurie Berkner, “the queen of children’s music” (People), pairs the lyrics of her infectious hit song with Ben Clanton’s whimsical illustrations in this groovy and adorable picture book—a must-have for fans of Laurie, dancing, and all things monstrous! I’m the biggest monster that you’ve ever seen! My eyes are purple and my teeth are green. I’m big and I’m scary, you know what I mean? And this is what I like to do... Boogie away those bedtime fears and embrace your inner monster with Monster Boogie, based on Laurie Berkner’s irresistibly fun song and featuring lively, playful artwork by Ben Clanton! I do the monster boogie. So can you! Rraaaahhh!

Jazz Baby book
#31
Jazz Baby
Written by Lisa Wheeler and illustrated by R Gregory Christie
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Baby and his family make some jazzy music.

Wally Does Not Want a Haircut book
#32
Wally Does Not Want a Haircut
Written and illustrated by Amanda Driscoll
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Wally the sheep does not want to get the haircut he really needs, even after all the other farm animals get new hairdos, but when his shaggy wool gets him in trouble, he has no choice but to ask for a trim.

  1. The Sleeping Beauty - In this stunning follow-up to the bestselling holiday classic The Nutcracker, The New York City Ballet presents another timeless tale for a modern ballet lover with The Sleeping Beauty. The New York City Ballet presents classic stories of the ballet with their trademark stylish, modern sensibility. This lavishly illustrated book follows the storyline, choreography, costumes, and sets of the New York City Ballet’s production of The Sleeping Beauty. With beautiful art illustrated by Valeria Docampo, this magnificent retelling is a perfect gift for an aspiring ballerina or any family who wants to add this enchanting fairy tale classic to their library.

  2. Dressing Up - We’re amazing! We can dress up, sing, dance and make music. There’s nobody quite like us! Enjoy the antics of this inclusive and diverse group of friends, as they celebrate the natural and boundless creativity to be found in every child.

  3. Josephine - In exuberant verse and stirring pictures, Patricia Hruby Powell and Christian Robinson create an extraordinary portrait for young people of the passionate performer and civil rights advocate Josephine Baker, the woman who worked her way from the slums of St. Louis to the grandest stages in the world. Meticulously researched by both author and artist, Josephine's powerful story of struggle and triumph is an inspiration and a spectacle, just like the legend herself.

  4. The Bunny Rabbit Show! - You’ve got front-row seats to the cutest revue in town—hop on down to The Bunny Rabbit Show! The latest addition to Sandra Boynton’s phenomenal bestselling Boynton on Board series, this book stars a cast of high-kicking bunnies performing in perfect unison to a lively song all about . . . them. We are ten terrific rabbits And we like to dance and sing. Ten terrific rabbits. We can do most anything. Bunnies are very welcoming, so everyone (Boynton’s pigs, sheep, chickens, and YOU) can come join the chorus line—bunny ears mandatory, of course. An exuberant original song by Sandra Boynton and Mike Ford is available for download.

A Dance Like Starlight book
#37
A Dance Like Starlight
Written by Kristy Dempsey and illustrated by Floyd Cooper
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Bauhaus Ballet book
#38
Bauhaus Ballet
Written by Gabby Dawnay and illustrated by Lesley Barnes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Watch the dancers as they leap, spin, and kick their way through this beautiful pop-up book. Inspired by the eccentric and innovative Bauhaus Triadic Ballet, this gorgeous book explores colours, shapes, patterns, and movements in a visually stunning and enthralling way. With bold artwork rendered in Lesley Barnes' striking style and playful text by Gabby Dawnay, this special pop-up book will appeal to all ages.

First Stories: Nutcracker book
#39
First Stories: Nutcracker
Written by and illustrated by Dan Taylor
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

Push, pull, and slide into the holiday magic of The Nutcracker! Bring the classic Nutcracker story to life by pulling the tabs, spinning the wheels, and sliding the characters in First Stories: The Nutcracker. Join Clara and the Nutcracker as they go on a magical journey in this beloved tale based on the beautiful ballet. With movements on every page, youngsters will love this engaging introduction to the holiday classic.

The Nutcracker: A BabyLit Dancing Primer book
#40
The Nutcracker: A BabyLit Dancing Primer
Written by Jennifer Adams and illustrated by Alison Oliver
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

BabyLit(R) is a fashionable way to introduce your baby to the world of classic literature With this colorfully illustrated board book version of the classic Christmas-time ballet, Jennifer Adams and Alison Oliver present a new holiday favorite, The Nutcracker: A BabyLit(R) Dancing Primer. This board book features soldiers marching, mice prancing, snowflakes swirling, dolls bending, and buffoons skipping as a way to introduce basic movement terms to babies and toddlers. Jennifer Adams is the author of many books including Remarkably Jane: Notable Quotations on Jane Austen and the popular Edgar the Raven series. Jennifer works as a writer and editor in Salt Lake City, Utah. Alison Oliver runs Sugar design studio. Her design portfolio includes everything from logos to packaging and product design for clients such as Chronicle Books, Citibabes, and Aerie. She lives in New York.

Goodnight Mr. Darcy book
#41
Goodnight Mr. Darcy
Written by Kate Coombs and illustrated by Alli Arnold
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

The adored children's classic Goodnight Moon gets a classic lit makeover in this charming parody of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice novel. All of Austen's much-loved characters are at the Netherfield Ball- In the great ballroom, there was a country dance, and a well-played tune, and Elizabeth Bennett; and Mr. Darcy surprised, by a pair of fine eyes ... And don't forget Jane with a blush and Mr. Bingley turned to mush, and a gossiping mother and father saying hush.

  1. Dinosaur Dance! - A brand-new board book about dancing dinosaurs from the beloved and bestselling Sandra Boynton! ZANG! BOP! KIDDLY POW! The DINOSAUR DANCE is starting NOW! Join Boynton’s lively prehistoric bunch as they get everyone’s tails shaking for a feet-stomping good time. Whether they dance the Shimmy Shimmy Shake, the Quivery Quake, or just decide to Cha-Cha-Cha, young readers are sure to giggle along with these adorable creatures that are ready for a ROARING good time!

  2. The Nutcracker - In this retelling of the original 1816 German story, Godfather Drosselmeier gives young Marie a nutcracker for Christmas, and she finds herself in a magical realm where she saves a boy from an evil curse.

  3. Salsa Lullaby - How to get baby to sleep? Mami and Papi will try anything in this bouncy, loving, bilingual lullaby that gently says good night in both Spanish and English. Mami starts a salsa song. Papi keeps the beat. Baby loves this lullaby, moves those dancing feet. Baila, baby, baila! Dance, dance, dance. When nighttime falls, it's time for baby to go to sleep. In this household, that means it's also time for mama, papa, and baby to baila/dance, canta/sing, salta/jump, and more all the way to bedtime! This bouncy bilingual text and gorgeous, inviting illustrations gently wind down to make this a bedtime favorite no matter what language families say "good night" in!

  4. Andy & Sandy And The Big Talent Show - Andy and Sandy hit the stage in this fourth book of an easy-to-read picture book series about friendship—from Caldecott and Newbery Honoree Tomie dePaola and Emmy Award–winning writer for the Muppets Jim Lewis. Outgoing Sandy convinces shy Andy to do a dance at the big talent show. The only problem? Andy doesn’t know how to dance! Luckily, Sandy is a good teacher. But when showtime finally arrives, it’s Sandy who freezes up! A true friend through and through, Andy overcomes his shyness to save the performance. Let’s give a standing ovation to friendship! Written in simple words and short, declarative sentences, this book is perfect for little ones just learning to read on their own.

A Dictionary of Dance book
#46
A Dictionary of Dance
Written and illustrated by Liz Murphy
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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!

Pandamonia book
#47
Pandamonia
Written by Chris Owen and illustrated by Chris Nixon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Join in the fantastic fun as one grumpy panda sets off a frenzy of wild partying. There’s grunting and growling and prancing and prowling, skipping and scowling and squealing and yowling, squeaking and squawking, snarling and snorting, hysterical howling and chaotic cavorting—all because of one grumpy panda.

Jose! Born to Dance book
#48
Jose! Born to Dance
Written by Susanna Reich and illustrated by Raul Colon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

José was a boy with a song in his heart and a dance in his step. Born in Mexico in 1908, he came into the world kicking like a steer, and grew up to love to draw, play the piano, and dream. José's dreaming took him to faraway places. He dreamed of bullfighters and the sounds of the cancan dancers that he saw with his father. Dance lit a fire in José's soul. With his heart to guide him, José left his family and went to New York to dance. He learned to flow and float and fly through space with steps like a Mexican breeze. When José danced, his spirit soared. From New York to lands afar, José Limón became known as the man who gave the world his own kind of dance. ¡OLÉ! ¡OLÉ! ¡OLÉ! Susanna Reich's lyrical text and Raúl Colón's shimmering artwork tell the story of a boy who was determined to make a difference in the world, and did. José! Born to Dance will inspire picture book readers to follow their hearts and live their dreams.

Song and Dance Man book
#49
Song and Dance Man
Written by Karen Ackerman and illustrated by Stephen Gammell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Illus. in full color. "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."—(starred) Booklist.

Super Happy Party Bears: The Jitterbug book
#50
Super Happy Party Bears: The Jitterbug
Written by Marcie Colleen and illustrated by Steve James
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

The Super Happy Party Bears become mentors when they meet Butter, a groovy caterpillar who's got moves. This jitterbug can breakdance, tango, and boogie-woogie. The bears teach Butter everything they know, and he becomes a Super Happy Party Caterpillar dedicated to spreading the party spirit! When Butter mysteriously disappears, the bears frantically search for him, only to discover that the Jitterbug has morphed into a beautiful butterfly! The bears must accept that the Jitterbug has grown up and must follow his own fluttery path.Illustrated in full color!

  1. Bagel in Love - Poor Bagel! He dreams of entering the Cherry Jubilee dance contest . . . but no one wants to be his partner! Can he find a sweet-tart who doesn't think his steps are half-baked? Bagel loved to dance. It made him happier than a birthday cake! And more than anything, he wants a partner who will spin and swirl, tap and twirl with him in the dance contest. But Pretzel sniffs that he doesn't cut the mustard, Croissant thinks his moves are stale, and Doughnut's eyes just glaze over. Can a cute cupcake save the day for our would-be Fred clair? Witty and pun-filled, this picture book really takes the cake.

  2. How Do You Dance? - A playful picture book that urges readers to bop, bounce, and shake from the author of Fraidyzoo There are so many ways to dance! You can jiggle or wiggle or stomp. You can bop or bounce or go completely nuts. You can dance at the market or the bus stop, with your fingers or your face. You can dance because you're happy or even because you're sad. But, what's the best way to dance? Exactly how you want to! In How Do You Dance?, author-illustrator Thyra Heder explores dance in all of its creativity, humor, and--most of all--joy, in a picture-book celebration of personal expression that will inspire young and old readers alike to get up and get moving.

  3. The Audition - Bunheads meets The Kicks in this first novel in a brand-new middle grade trilogy from New York Times bestselling author, dancer, model, and actress Maddie Ziegler! Twelve-year-old Harper has been dancing practically since she could walk. She loves her dance studio and team, and just won her first ever top junior solo in a regional competition. But right before the school year starts, Harper’s parents drop a bombshell—the family has to relocate from their cozy town in Connecticut to sunny Florida for their jobs. That means goodbye to her friends, dance team, trips to see shows in NYC—and did she mention dance team? When she arrives at her new dance school and new team, it feels like everyone has better feet, quicker turns and faster taps than Harper. And it doesn’t help that a group of girls, who nicknamed themselves The Bunheads, wonder how the heck she made the team if she can’t even do a simple turn sequence in front of the class. Thankfully, Harper befriends Lily, a fellow newbie in the studio who is just as eager to make her mark and find a friendly face. With a big competition coming up for the dance team, Harper is determined to show everyone—especially those Bunheads—what she’s made of. And when a very badly timed injury threatens all of the work they have done, The Bunheads, Lily, and Harper must learn to truly work together to give them their best shot at the top spot!

  4. Dance with the Animals - This delightful mix and match title features animal characters from around the world. Wolf, Lemur, Panda, and friends have gathered together for a night of twirling, twisting, clapping, clicking and tapping. Ella Baileys beautiful illustrations can be mixed and matched to create cute characters in fun outfits, while the text suggests mix and match actions that young readers can do to join in with the animals fun. The split page board format is attractive and robust, perfect for little hands to play with over and over again. Children aged two and up can enjoy the charming illustrations independently, and used with a parent or guardian, the fun join in actions add a further interactive dimension, promoting coordination and cognitive development.

Music book
#55
Music
Written and illustrated by Carol Thompson
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

We’re amazing! We can make music, dress up, sing and dance.

Jack & Louisa Act 2 book
#56
Jack & Louisa Act 2
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Cast opposite each other when their middle school stages a production of Guys and Dolls, Jack and Lou find their ambitions of stardom threatened by a mysterious new director, a Broadway-level dance call and a new stage competitor.

Lights, Music, Code! book
#57
Lights, Music, Code!
Written by Jo Whittemore
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

When Maya starts spending a lot of time with Maddie, an old friend, her friends from coding club worry she won't finish her part of the project, coding the lights and music for the winter dance.

World Record Mystery book
#58
World Record Mystery
Written by Carolyn Keene and illustrated by Peter Francis
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Help Nancy and her friends find a missing lucky headband so River Heights teen Katie can break the world record at the local arcade’s dance game in the eighth book in the interactive Nancy Drew Clue Book mystery series. Everyone in River Heights has shown up to watch Katie McCabe try to beat the world record for the Dance-A-Thon game. Judges are coming to the arcade to see how quickly she can spin across the electronic dance floor and how many points she can win. But just as Katie’s about to get ready, she notices her lucky headband has gone missing! She always wears the blue, sparkly headband when she competes and knows she’ll bomb without it. Luckily, Nancy takes her Clue Book everywhere. Nancy, Bess, and George are on the case! Who is sabotaging Katie’s big day? Could it be the owner of the rival arcade, Michael Parker, who wanted the judges to see his world record sock attempt? Or May Bensen, the current Dance-A-Thon record holder? It’s up to the Clue Crew—and you—to find out!

Boo Crew (Nancy Drew Clue Book) book
#59
Boo Crew (Nancy Drew Clue Book)
Written by Carolyn Keene and illustrated by Peter Francis
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Help Nancy and her friends find the truth behind a haunted theater in the tenth book in the interactive Nancy Drew Clue Book mystery series. The hit TV show Twinkle Little Stars is coming to River Heights to audition contestants for their upcoming Halloween show. They’ll choose talented kids from all over the country to compete for prizes. Nancy, Bess, and George are dressing up as witches and are planning to create a special potion onstage for the judges. The recently renovated Heights Theatre has opened its doors for the auditions. The old theatre had been abandoned for fifty years but is now restored to its original beauty. But on the day of the auditions, everything seems to go wrong; the girls’ cauldron over bubbles, a werewolf mask makes its owner sneeze, spider webs fall on the dancers. That’s when the clue crew learns the Heights Theatre is rumored to be haunted—people say ghosts are the reason it stayed empty for so long. But Nancy knows better than to believe in ghosts. She’s sure that the culprit is of the human variety. Then Bess sees monsters dancing around a piano playing on its own—the keys moving but no is playing it. Could the rumors be true? Is the Heights Theatre really haunted? It’s up to the clue crew—and you—to find out!

  1. Feel the Beat - An irresistible book of poems about dancing that mimic the rhythms of social dances from cha-cha to two-step, by the acclaimed author of Mirror Mirror Marilyn Singer has crafted a vibrant collection of poems celebrating all forms of social dance from samba and salsa to tango and hip-hop. The rhythm of each poem mimics the beat of the dances’ steps. Together with Kristi Valiant’s dynamic illustrations, the poems create a window to all the ways dance enters our lives and exists throughout many cultures. This ingenious collection will inspire readers to get up and move! Included with the book is an audio CD of the author reading each poem accompanied by original music from composer Jonathon Roberts.

  2. Pilar's Worries - Pilar loves to dance. She pliés while brushing her teeth. She leaps when hurrying to ballet class. But when tryouts for her favorite ballet are held, Pilar is anxious. Auditioning makes her whole body feel scared. But by using some of the coping techniques she’s learned and focusing on her love for ballet, she is able to persevere. This gentle story is a great tool for children dealing with anxiety.

  3. Starring Carmen! - Singer, dancer, actress, and costume designer Carmen puts on a show every night for her exhausted parents, who would like Carmen to share the stage with her biggest fan, her little brother Eduardo.

  4. Ballet Bunnies - Betty dreams of becoming a great dancer and performing onstage. At home, she's unstoppable, happily pirouetting through every room. But, in ballet class, everything changes: she feels clumsy and frightened of forgetting the steps. Can her sympathetic teacher help Betty find her poise, balance, and confidence in time for the big end-of-year recital? Kids will shout BRAVO for this adorable little ballerina bunny!

Ants 'n' Uncles book
#64
Ants 'n' Uncles
Written and illustrated by Clay Rice
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Ants 'n' uncles, uncles 'n' ants, dancin' 'cross the world with ants in his pants. Goin' everywhere he's never been before, on his ant-imated world tour. What happens when Uncle steps on an ant hill? The ants in his pants make him dance, of course, and his dancing skills become famous around the world. From award-winning author and silhouette artist Clay Rice comesthe rhyming tale of an accidental hero. Filled with scenes from countries and cultures around the globe, this lively, silly story is sure to delight children and parents.

The Acrobat book
#65
The Acrobat
Written and illustrated by Alborozo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

An acrobat gets fed up of no one ever noticing him, so leaves the circus to find somewhere where his talents are appreciated.

Gracie Laroo Sets Sail book
#66
Gracie Laroo Sets Sail
Written by Marsha Qualey and illustrated by Kristyna Litten
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

The Water Sprites are supposed to perform their medal-winning synchronized swimming routine aboard a cruise ship, but everything goes wrong when the piglets aboard start throwing things at the swimmers--so Gracie enlists the help of famous Rita Sinclair and her dancers to help impose order on the unruly passengers.

Boom! Boom! Boom! book
#67
Boom! Boom! Boom!
Written by Przemysław Wechterowicz and illustrated by Marianna Oklejak
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Take a rhythmic musical journey round the world with this fun rhyming picture book! "Two gorillas and their chum. At the sound the people come. BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!" As the trio dances to the music of the drums, moving and grooving through the jungle and into the city, they're joined by a host of other animals and people who can't resist the infectious rhythm. The delightful rhymes and lively, colorful pictures will soon have kids jumping in, too!

The Great Dog Bottom Swap book
#68
The Great Dog Bottom Swap
Written by Peter Bently and illustrated by Mei Matsuoka
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-5

Sit back and enjoy this rollicking canine caper. It's barking mad! The dogs are having a ball today. Roll up for the canine cabaret! The day has arrived for the Dogs' Summer Ball -- a high-class canine caper. So high-class in fact, that each dog must remove their bottom before they are allowed inside the hall. But in the middle of all the frivolity something unexpected happens and the dogs have to make a hasty exit . . . with or without the correct bottom!

  1. The Croaky Pokey! - Put your right hand in, Put your right hand out, Put your right hand in, And wave it all about, Hop the Croakey Pokey. As flies buzz all around, Right in the froggy's mouth!

  2. The Log Driver's Waltz - Acclaimed illustrator Jennifer Phelan reimagines Wade Hemsworth’s iconic log driver in a beautiful, contemporary picture-book adaptation of a beloved Canadian classic. If you ask any girl from the parish around What pleases her most from her head to her toes She’ll say I'm not sure that it’s business of yours But I do like to waltz with a log driver Based on the perennially popular Canadian folk song and animated short film of the same name, The Log Driver’s Waltz showcases a spunky, independent young woman whose parents are keen for her to marry. The town’s well-to-do doctors, merchants, and lawyers try to impress her, but it’s the humble log driver—with his style, grace, and joie de vivre—who captures her attention. When she and the log driver finally meet on the dance floor, their joy leaps off the page. With homages to the original film, and celebrating the flora, fauna, and folk art of this great land, The Log Driver’s Waltz brings a hallmark of Canadian childhood to life.

  3. Cinderella-Rossi - Tortured by her stepmother and stepsisters, a kind and wishful servant girl is swept away by a fairy godmother to a fancy ball and a chance encounter with a charming prince.

  4. Just Dance - “[A] memorable story.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review) From Newbery Award–winning author Patricia MacLachlan comes a “quiet tale about finding your own voice” (Kirkus Reviews) while learning to understand the people you love the most. Sylvie Bloom wants to find something new and exciting this summer—at least more exciting than the cows, goats, and chickens on her family’s farm that she’s become accustomed to. Luckily, Sylvie’s teacher Mrs. Ludolf has the perfect idea. Sylvie can take over her husband Sheriff Ludolf’s column in the newspaper for the summer, reporting on all the important events that happen in their small Wyoming town. Sylvie is thrilled to have a new challenge, but she’s not sure she’ll actually see anything amazing. At least nothing like the things her mother saw when she traveled the world as a famous opera singer. Sylvie can’t figure out why her mother would give up singing in front of thousands of people. Have she and her brother Nate been holding her mother back? And when her mother’s old duet partner James Grayson writes that he’s coming to perform nearby, will she be tempted to return to the stage, without them?

The Littlest Mummy book
#73
The Littlest Mummy
Written by Brandi Dougherty and illustrated by Michelle Todd
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

From the New York Times bestselling author who brought us The Littlest Pilgrim comes a sweet new Halloween story filled with gentle spooky fun and one adorable little mummy friend! Mae may be the littlest mummy in the Spooky Woods, but she has a big desire to dance with her family at the big Halloween bash! But Mae just can't seem to moan, groan, and look scary, no matter how hard she shuffles and shouts. Will Mae be able to participate in the party, or is the littlest mummy just too little?

Keep Dancing, Katie book
#74
Keep Dancing, Katie
Written by Fran Manushkin and illustrated by Tammy Lyon, Fran Manushkin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Katie loves being the best dancer in her dance class, so when Mattie joins the class and begins to outshine her, Katie is jealous.

My Story, My Dance book
#75
My Story, My Dance
Written by Lesa Cline-Ransome and illustrated by James E. Ransome
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

A boy discovers his passion for dance and becomes a modern hero in this inspiring picture book biography of Robert Battle, artistic director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. When Robert Battle was a boy wearing leg braces, he never dreamed he’d study at Juilliard. Though most dancers begin training at an early age, it wasn’t until Robert was a teenager that his appreciation for movement—first from martial arts, then for ballet—became his passion. But support from his family and teachers paired with his desire and determination made it possible for Robert to excel. After years of hard work, the young man who was so inspired by a performance of Alvin Ailey’s Revelations became the artistic director of the very company that motivated him. Today, under Robert’s leadership, Alvin Ailey continues to represent the African American spirit through dance. Featuring illustrations brimming with vibrant color and swirling motion, this biographical picture book from husband-and-wife team James Ransome and Lisa Cline-Ransome includes a foreword from Robert Battle himself as well as a bibliography, suggested further reading, and an author’s note. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater was founded in 1958 by choreographer Alvin Ailey. He envisioned a company dedicated to enriching the American modern dance heritage and preserving the uniqueness of the African-American cultural experience. When Mr. Ailey began creating dances, he drew upon his “blood memories” of his home state of Texas, the blues, spirituals, and gospel inspiration, which resulted in the creation of his most popular and critically acclaimed work, Revelations. Since its founding, the company has performed in seventy-one countries on six continents. It’s repertory includes works by Mr. Ailey and ninety other choreographers, and new works are commissioned each year. Judith Jamison succeeded Mr. Ailey as artistic director, and in 2011, she selected Robert Battle to be her successor. Learn more at AlvinAiley.org.

Zack Delacruz: Me and My Big Mouth book
#76
Zack Delacruz: Me and My Big Mouth
Written by Jeff Anderson and illustrated by Tad Carpenter
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-13

Zack Delacruz is unnoticed at his middle school—and that’s just the way he likes it. But a school assembly, a typhoon of spit, and an uncharacteristic moment of bravery are all it takes to change everything. Suddenly Zack is in charge of the class fundraiser. Worse, his partner is the school’s biggest bully! If they don’t sell all the chocolate bars, there will be no dance for the sixth grade. Zack never wanted to be a hero, but with his classmates’ hopes on the line, can he save the day?

Zack Delacruz book
#77
Zack Delacruz
Written by Jeff Anderson and illustrated by Tad Carpenter
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-13

Zack Delacruz is unnoticed at his middle school--and that's just the way he likes it. But a school assembly, a typhoon of spit, and an uncharacteristic moment of bravery are all it takes to change everything. Suddenly Zack is in charge of the class fundraiser. Worse, his partner is the school's biggest bully! If they don't sell all the chocolate bars, there will be no dance for the sixth grade. Zack never wanted to be a hero, but with his classmates' hopes on the line, can he save the day?

  1. Elephants Cannot Dance! - Gerald the elephant is certain that he cannot dance but his friend Piggie convinces him to try.

  2. Annie's Dancing Day - A little girl loves to dance, and sometimes when she dances she forgets about everything else, including how to find the way home.

  3. It's a Secret! - One evening Marie Elaine and her neighbor Norman go with Malcolm the cat to a secret place, where they dance and party with the Queen of the Cats.

  4. Little Leonardo's Fascinating World of the Arts - "Little Leonardo's Fascinating World of the Arts is a great way to encourage kids' interests in all manner of artistic pursuits that they might aspire to. This volume introduces children to the many different types of creative fields in the arts including drawing and painting, music and dance, writing, design, architecture, and photography."--Publisher's description.

Barnyard Boogie! book
#82
Barnyard Boogie!
Written by Tim McCanna
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

The Barnyard Band is performing today. All the musicians are coming to play! Each animal musician knows what to do, but Cow can only moo! This charming book is a wonderful read-aloud featuring musical sounds and a refrain children will love repeating. Tim McCanna's playful text will have children laughing at the funny musical sounds, and Allison Black's energetic illustrations will make children want to get up and move. Barnyard Boogie! is full of rhyming and nonsense sounds that will enrich and delight.

Piggy Pie Po book
#83
Piggy Pie Po
Written by Audrey Wood and illustrated by Don Wood
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Dance, count, and laugh with Piggy Pie Po! Piggy Pie Po is many things--he's silly, smart, and a little bit mischievous. But above all, he's the most lovable pig you'll ever meet. These three playful (and extremely short) stories from award-winning husband and wife team Don and Audrey Wood show the many sides of Piggy Pie Po through page-turning rhymes and vibrant illustrations that will have children asking to read the book again and again. "Though perfect for storytime, the simple language and limited text per page will appeal to beginning readers as well. This sweet tale will have wide appeal." --School Library Journal Who is Piggy Pie Po? Just the smartest (maybe), messiest (probably), silliest (definitely) piggy you'll ever meet. In these three small and playful stories, he's sure to become every child's most unforgettable new friend. Award-winning team Audrey and Don Wood's picture books have been loved by children and parents for more than twenty-five years.

Daddy Can't Dance book
#84
Daddy Can't Dance
Written by Fran Manushkin and illustrated by Tammy Lyon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Katie and her father are invited to a Daddy-Daughter dance, the only problem is that her father is not a good dancer--he frequently steps on his partner's feet.

Mousequerade Ball: A Counting Tale book
#85
Mousequerade Ball: A Counting Tale
Written by Lori Mortensen and illustrated by Betsy Lewin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

In a castle on a hill, in a great grand hall, mice are getting ready for the Mousequerade Ball. They dress in their finest. What a grand affair! But when an unexpected guest arrives, the mice get quite a scare. Is the evening ruined? Should they run in fright? Or will a gallant mouse stand up and save the splendid night? Counting up to ten and back again, dancing all the while, this delightful story invites readers--and dancers--to the event of the season: the Mousequerade Ball!

Shai & Emmie Star in Dancy Pants! book
#86
Shai & Emmie Star in Dancy Pants!
Written by Nancy Ohlin, Quvenzhané Wallis and illustrated by Sharee Miller
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

From Academy Award–nominated actress Quvenzhané Wallis comes the second story in a brand-new series about best friends Shai and Emmie, two third-graders destined for superstardom. Shai Williams—third-grader and superstar in the making—loves to act, sing, and dance. So when her teacher, Ms. Englert, signs their class up for a major dance competition, Shai’s fancy moves are put to the test. Paired up with her best friend Emmie and classmate Rio, Shai plans to settle her competition jitters by just having fun. That is until her rival, Gabby Supreme, challenges her to a bet: whoever loses the dance competition has to bring the winner one cupcake every day for a month. Now Shai has to win.

  1. Ballet Kitty: Christmas Recital - It's Christmas—and for Ballet Kitty, that means The Nutcracker! She's going to perform the Sugar Plum Fairy, her favorite role from the ballet, at a real recital. Kitty's so excited she can hardly wait. But when her very best friend wants to dance the same solo, suddenly the show isn't fun anymore. This charming tale of friendship, ballet, and the thrill of being onstage will enchant little ballerinas everywhere.

  2. Isabella - The purple-haired star of the New York Times bestselling picture book series is back, and her imagination is turning her life into a wondrous work of art! When Isabella has a day off from school, her mother suggests doing something special. Instead, Isabella walks her parents through all of the exciting things they could do as she imagines herself in famous paintings ranging from Degas' Dancers in Blue to Warhol's Campbell's Soup Cans. Through her musings, Isabella creates a wondrous museum of her own making, showing how home can be the most special place of all!

  3. Ballet Boy - This uplifting novel follows Mitchell to third grade when he becomes a ballet danseur. He is under attack by his peers for choosing to do ballet.

Did you enjoy our children's book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!