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81 Dazzling Kids Books About Dance

Updated Mar. 19, 2019

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!

Top 10 Dance Books

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.

Let's Dance, Little Pookie book
#6
Let's Dance, Little Pookie
Written and illustrated by Sandra Boynton
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-5
Thoughts from 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. :)

Let’s do the Pookie Shimmy (Oh, yeah!) in this toe-tapping board book from the beloved and bestselling Sandra Boynton. Say hey, Little Pookie! You’re a wonder to see. Come on, my little Pookie, Won’t you dance with me? Are you ready to do the piggy-piggy shake? Then put on your snazzy sneakers and join the dance party as Little Pookie boogies to a Pookie-Pookie beat. With Sandra Boynton’s signature charm and piggy pizzazz, this fabulous story proves that every Little Pookie loves to shimmy!

Barnyard Dance! book
#7
Barnyard Dance!
Written and illustrated by Sandra Boynton
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-4
Thoughts from 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.

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 "Barnyard Dance! song, performed by John Stey, is available for download.

Miss Bunny's Shapes book
#8
Miss Bunny's Shapes
Written and illustrated by Becky Baur
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from 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.

Explore and identify shapes in this stylish lift-the-flap board book from a standout new artist. Miss Bunny is having a party . . . and you re invited. But what kind of party will it be? That s the fun mystery that will entertain toddlers as they learn all about shapes. Featuring ravishing rabbits in bold designs, this supercool board book has cool flaps to lift on every page.

The Twelve Dancing Princesses book
#9
The Twelve Dancing Princesses
Written by Marianna Mayer and illustrated by Kinuko Y. Craft
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Books About Music & Dance

Giant Dance Party book
#1
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.

Baby Loves to Boogie! book
#2
Baby Loves to Boogie!
Written and illustrated by Wednesday Kirwan
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4
Thoughts from 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!

Boogie on down with baby in this lively companion to the board book hit Baby Loves to Rock! The chicks can do kicks, and the toucan can cancan. But who loves to boogie? Filled with funny puns and rhymes about a variety of comical animals getting groovy, this board book will delight dancers of all ages. Wednesday Kirwan’s humorous text and colorful illustrations ensure that this adorable follow-up to the board book hit Baby Loves to Rock! will win any dance-off.

Monster Boogie book
#3
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!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Music - We’re amazing! We can make music, dress up, sing and dance.

  2. Jack & Louisa Act 2 - 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

Want to see even more books about dance and music?

How about books about music?

Books About Ballet & Dance

Love Is a Tutu book
#1
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.

First Stories: Nutcracker book
#2
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 book
#3
The Nutcracker
Written by E.T.A. Hoffman and illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. 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!

  2. Ballet Kitty: Christmas Recital - Rehearsing to perform the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy in a recital of scenes from "The Nutcracker," an excited Ballet Kitty wonders about what to do when her best friend wants to dance the same solo.

Want to see even more books about dance and ballet?

How about books about ballet?

Books About Friendship & Dance

Andy & Sandy and the Big Talent Show book
#1
Andy & Sandy and the Big Talent Show
Written by Tomie dePaola and illustrated by Jim Lewis, Tomie dePaola
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Andy & Sandy And The Big Talent Show book
#2
Andy & Sandy And The Big Talent Show
Written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Jack & Louisa Act 2 book
#3
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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Lights, Music, Code! - 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.

  2. The Littlest Mummy - 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?

  3. Shai & Emmie Star in Dancy Pants! - 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.

  4. Ballet Kitty: Christmas Recital - Rehearsing to perform the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy in a recital of scenes from "The Nutcracker," an excited Ballet Kitty wonders about what to do when her best friend wants to dance the same solo.

Want to see even more books about dance and friendship?

How about books about friendship?

Table of Contents
  1. Top 10 Dance Books
  2. + music (8)
  3. + ballet (5)
  4. + friendship (7)
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