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Dance: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about dance?

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!

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Top 10 Books About Dance

#1
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Giraffes Can't Dance
Written by Giles Andreae & illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees
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.
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

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.

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#2
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Flora and the Flamingo
Written & 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.

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#3
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Giant Dance Party
Written by Betsy Bird & 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.

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#4
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Swan
Written by Laurel Snyder & illustrated by Julie Morstad
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.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

“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.

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

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.

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#6
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Barnyard Dance!
Written & illustrated by Sandra Boynton
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.
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-4

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.

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#7
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The Nutcracker
Written by New York City Ballet & 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.

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#8
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Let's Dance, Little Pookie
Written & illustrated by Sandra Boynton
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. :)
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-5

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!

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#9
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The Twelve Dancing Princesses
Written by Marianna Mayer & 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.

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#10
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Zombelina
Written by Kristyn Crow & illustrated by Molly Schaar Idle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

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

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Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Dance and...

Books About Dance and Animals

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Appleblossom the Possum
Written by Holly Goldberg Sloan & illustrated by Gary A. Rosen
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.

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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.

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Baby Loves to Boogie!
Written & illustrated by Wednesday Kirwan
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!
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

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.

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  1. Dance - 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!

  2. Ballerino Nate - After seeing a ballet performance, Nate decides he wants to learn ballet but he has doubts when his brother Ben tells him that only girls can be ballerinas.

  3. 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.

  4. ABC Dance!: An Animal Alphabet - Dance through the alphabet from Aardvark to Zebra! Hey! Is that your toe tapping? Well, go on! Strut your stuff! Shake your boots with newts, lambada with llamas, and slide with sloths! A lively romp through the alphabet with vibrant art and cheerfully rhyming text, ABC Dance! is a joy for children and grown-ups to read aloud together. Now get your dancing shoes on!

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Books About Dance and Imagination And Play

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Let's Dance, Little Pookie
Written & illustrated by Sandra Boynton
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. :)
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-5

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!

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I Can Dance
Written & illustrated by Betsy Snyder
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!
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

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.

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Duck & Goose, Let's Dance!
Written & illustrated by Tad Hills
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

“Duck and Goose have fun dancing together as friends”–

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  1. 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.

  2. Goodnight, Little Dancer - In this soothing, gentle rhyming picture book, author Jennifer Adams bids sweet dreams to the youngest readers who identify as ballerinas by day and tender, sleepy children by night. With luminous art from illustrator Alea Marley, Goodnight, Little Dancer is sure to send little ones to sleep with twirling, dancing dreams. It’s time for bed now, little dancer.
    Time to tell the world goodnight.
    Let down your bun, shake out your hair.
    Breathe in, relax, and dim the light.

  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. Sleepover Party! - Angelina Ballerina hosts her first sleepover in this tutu-rrific Level 1 Ready-to-Read that's perfect for little ones getting ready to stay over at someone else's house for the first time!

Books About Dance and Culture

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Swan
Written by Laurel Snyder & illustrated by Julie Morstad
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.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

“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.

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The Twelve Dancing Princesses
Written by Marianna Mayer & 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.

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Ballet Shoes
Written & 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.

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  1. A Dance Like Starlight - 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.

  2. Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music - Girls cannot be drummers. Long ago on an island filled with music, no one questioned that rule—until the drum dream girl. In her city of drumbeats, she dreamed of pounding tall congas and tapping small bongós. She had to keep quiet. She had to practice in secret. But when at last her dream-bright music was heard, everyone sang and danced and decided that both girls and boys should be free to drum and dream. Inspired by the childhood of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke Cuba’s traditional taboo against female drummers, Drum Dream Girl tells an inspiring true story for dreamers everywhere.

  3. Dancing at Carnival -

  4. Jingle Dancer - The affirming story of how a contemporary Native American girl turns to her family and community to help her dance find a voice.

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Books About Dance and Birds

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Flora and the Flamingo
Written & 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.

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Cockatoo, Too
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.
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

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.

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Penguin Cha-Cha
Written & illustrated by Kristi Valiant
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Penguins are dancing in their cove, and a young girl is determined to join in the fun.

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  1. Flora and the Ostrich - Inspired by Caldecott Honor book Flora and the Flamingo, this series of board books is perfect for the very youngest Flora fans. When a new feathered friend seems so different from her, Flora discovers that opposites, in fact, attract! Featuring fold-out pages and Molly Idle’s graceful artwork, this adorable book of opposites will delight young children as they master new words and concepts.

  2. Flora and the Chicks - Inspired by the main character of the Caldecott Honor book Flora and the Flamingo, this new series of board books is perfect for the very youngest Flora fans. When a nest of eggs begins to hatch, how will Flora ever keep up with so many chicks? Featuring fold-out pages and Molly Idle’s graceful artwork, this adorable counting book will delight young children as they master new words and concepts.

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Books About Dance and Self-esteem

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Giraffes Can't Dance
Written by Giles Andreae & illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees
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.
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

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.

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Dancing in the Wings
Written by Debbie Allen & illustrated by Kadir Nelson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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

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Out of Step
Written & illustrated by Jake Maddox
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Last season Mercy Anderson was one of the best dancers on her school’s dance team when they almost made it to the state championship, but a sudden growth spurt has made her awkward and unsure of her moves–a personal coach would help bring her back to competition level, but can she earn enough money dog walking to pay for the training?

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  1. Firebird - In her debut picture book, Misty Copeland tells the story of a young girl–an every girl–whose confidence is fragile and who is questioning her own ability to reach the heights that Misty has reached. Misty encourages this young girl’s faith in herself and shows her exactly how, through hard work and dedication, she too can become Firebird. Lyrical and affecting text paired with bold, striking illustrations that are some of Caldecott Honoree Christopher Myers’s best work, makes Firebird perfect for aspiring ballerinas everywhere.

  2. 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!

  3. Gracie Laroo Sets Sail - 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.

  4. Elle of the Ball - From 2015 WNBA MVP, 2016 Olympic gold medalist, and global ambassador to the Special Olympics Elena Delle Donne comes the first novel in a brand-new middle grade series with as much heart as there is game. Elle Deluca is a seventh grader who is tall—not just sort of tall. She’s six feet tall. And for a twelve-year-old girl, this means that her basketball team has high hopes for her changing positions and becoming their starting center. But a new position is not the only footwork she has to learn. Her class’s dance unit in gym is coming up, and that means she has to learn ballroom dance steps with a boy much shorter than her—and perform publically for a grade. In the first book in WNBA MVP and Olympic gold medalist Elena Delle Donne’s Hoops series, Elle must figure out a way to remain herself when others want her to be someone else.

Books About Dance and Girls And Women

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Fancy Nancy: Budding Ballerina
Written by Jane O'Connor & illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

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Josephine
Written by Patricia Hruby Powell & illustrated by Christian Robinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

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.

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I Dreamed I was a Ballerina
Written by Anna Pavlova & illustrated by Edgar Degas
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Every girl remembers her first trip to the ballet: the anticipation beforehand, the orchestra’s first notes, the ethereal beauty of the ballerinas. This is a tale of one such girl who was caught up in ballet’s mesmerizing spell and became one of the greatest ballerinas of all time.

In a story drawn from her memoirs, Anna Pavlova describes her first visit to the ballet to see the Sleeping Beauty. With simple, childlike language, she captures her love for her mother, the splendor of the ballet, and the moments that changed her life. The words are matched with paintings, pastels, and drawings of the French Impressionist Edgar Degas, to give this story all the magic of a fairytale.

Complete with short biographies of Pavlova and Degas, I Dreamed I Was a Ballerina will delight any child with ballerina dreams.

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  1. Tallulah's Solo - Tallulah is certain she will have a solo in her dance school’s upcoming performance of<br>The Frog Prince. After all, she is now an excellent ballerina. And she’s proud that her<br>little brother, Beckett, has started taking ballet too, even though he spends most of his<br>time goofing off.<br>But then Tallulah gets an unexpected surprise . . . and not the good kind. What’s a<br>ballerina to do when everything does not go as planned?<br>Ballet and sibling rivalry meet head-on in this fabulous follow-up to Tallulah’s Tutu.

  2. Tallulah's Toe Shoes - Tallulah is back in ballet class and now she wants to go en pointe--to dance up on the tips of her toes in pink satin toe shoes, like a real ballerina. But going en pointe is not good for growing feet, and her ballet teacher says her feet aren't ready yet. Oh, yes, they are, Tallulah thinks. And so am I. Not only is she ready, she's determined. And nothing stops Tallulah when her mind is made up!

  3. Balletball - Nini loves everything about ballet--the sparkles, the costumes, the twirling! But in the spring there's only baseball practice. Baseball is nothing like ballet. Or is it?

Books About Dance and Friendship

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Ivy and Bean: Doomed to Dance
Written by Annie Barrows & illustrated by Sophie Blackall
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

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

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

Having mastered ballet in Flora and the Flamingo, Flora takes to the ice and forms an unexpected friendship with a penguin. Twirling, leaping, spinning, and gliding, on skates and flippers, the duo mirror each other’s graceful dance above and below the ice. But when Flora gives the penguin the cold shoulder, the pair must figure out a way to work together for uplifting results. Artist Molly Idle creates an innovative, wordless picture book with clever flaps that reveal Flora and the penguin coming together, spiraling apart, and coming back together as only true friends do.

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Flora and the Peacocks
Written & illustrated by Molly Idle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

The darling, dancing Flora is back, and this time she’s found two new friends: a pair of peacocks! But amidst the fanning feathers and mirrored movements, Flora realizes that the push and pull between three friends can be a delicate dance. Will this trio find a way to get back in step? In the third book featuring Flora and her feathered friends, Molly Idle’s gorgeous art combines with clever flaps to reveal that no matter the challenges, true friends will always find a way to dance, leap, and soar—together.

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  1. Ghouls Just Want to Have Fun, Volume 10 - Watch out for ghouls on the dance floor in the tenth book of the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol series!

  2. Tallulah's Tap Shoes - It’s summer, and Tallulah is excited about going to dance camp. She’ll get to take plenty of ballet classes. She’ll have to take tap, too, and she’s NOT excited about that. She’s never taken tap before, so she’ll be a beginning beginner. And she’s right—tap class is not much fun. Plus there’s a girl her same age who’s maddeningly good at tap dancing. But that same girl isn’t very good at ballet . . . could it be that she and Tallulah have something in common?

  3. Bug Girl: Fury on the Dance Floor - In the sequel to “Bug Girl, “ two girls with superpowers must defend their town when a villain unleashes her fury at the school dance. This funny and action-packed superhero story is filled with illustrations and sidebars featuring real bug facts.

  4. World Record Mystery - 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!

Books About Dance and Holidays

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The Nutcracker
Written by New York City Ballet & 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.

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Shannon and the World's Tallest Leprechaun
Written by Sean Callahan & illustrated by Kathleen Kemly
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Shannon is a stepdancer with a broken shoe. How can she ever win the Saint Patrick’s Day stepdancing contest? Enter Liam, the world’s tallest leprechaun. A leprechaun grants wishes, right?

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The Nutcracker: A BabyLit Dancing Primer
Written by Jennifer Adams & 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.

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  1. The Reindeer Dance - Move those hooves and dance and prance like a reindeer in this interactive holiday board book. Fresh art and rhyming text will inspire both children and adults to get up and move during the cold winter days!

  2. The Nutcracker - 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 picture 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 colorful celebratory story. A must-have for every aspiring ballerina’s library and a holiday tradition for every family’s bookshelf.

  3. Angelina Ballerina and the Tea Party - Pirouette into Angelina Ballerina's enchanting world and join her for a tea party in this Level 1 Ready-to-Read!

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Books About Dance and Music

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Giant Dance Party
Written by Betsy Bird & 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.

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Music
Written & illustrated by Carol Thompson
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

We are amazing! We can sing, dance, dress up, and make music. There’s nobody 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.

¡Somos sorprendentes! Cantamos, bailamos, nos disfrazamos y tocamos música. ¡Somos únicos y especiales! Disfruta de las travesuras de este diverso y simpático grupo de amigos mientras celebran la infinita y espontánea creatividad que hay en cada niño.

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Music
Written & illustrated by Carol Thompson
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

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

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  1. The Illustrated Book of Ballet Stories - In story and illustrations, presents five classic ballets: Giselle, Coppelia, Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, and Swan Lake. Includes photographs from Royal Ballet productions, and is accompanied by an audio CD.

  2. Boom! Boom! Boom! - 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!

  3. 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!

  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.

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Books About Dance and New Experiences

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Andy & Sandy and the Big Talent Show
Written by Tomie dePaola & illustrated by Jim Lewis and 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.

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Andy & Sandy And The Big Talent Show
Written & 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.

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The Audition
Written by Maddie Ziegler
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-13

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!

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  1. Bunheads - The first in a series of picture books inspired by premier ballerina and author Misty Copeland's own early experiences in ballet.

  2. Waltz of the Snowflakes - A new holiday classic to add to your collection, this gorgeous wordless picture book by esteemed author-illustrator Elly MacKay celebrates the magic of theater and <em>The Nutcracker</em> as seen through the eyes of a young girl and her grandmother.

  3. Pearl Goes to Preschool - Pearl loves to dance! But will she love preschool, too?

Books About Dance and Family

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My Mama Had A Dancing Heart
Written by Libba Moore Gray & illustrated by Raúl Colón
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A ballet dancer recalls how she and her mother would welcome each season with a dance outdoors

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

Baby and his family make some jazzy music.

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Salsa Lullaby
Written by Jen Arena & illustrated by Erika Meza
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

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!

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  1. 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.

  2. Kitchen Dance - A little girl wakes in the night to mysterious, inviting noises. She rouses her brother, and they sneak downstairs and peek into the kitchen. To their amazement and delight, their parents are dancing and singing—“¡Como te quiero! Oh, how I love you!” — as they clean up and put food away. Mama and Papa discover the two kids and sweep them into the embrace of a family dance. Slowly, the song changes to a lullaby . . . the children close sleepy eyes . . . then Mama and Papa tuck them into bed again. The story reads like poetry. The art moves from subdued tones to hot tropical colors and back again. And as you turn the pages, you can almost hear the music—changing from a pop ballad to a hot tango to a cozy lullaby. All in all, it’s a perfect bedtime book, with a satisfying hugs-and kisses ending.

  3. 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?

  4. Daddy Can't Dance - 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.

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Books About Dance and Mice, Hamster, Guinea Pigs, Etc.

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Angelina Ballerina
Written by Katharine Holabird & 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.

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Angelina Ice Skates
Written by Helen Craig & illustrated by Katharine Holabird
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Angelina is planning a New Year’s Eve ice dance for everyone in Mouseland. All of her friends are taking part—even little cousin Henry. But two big boys from school keep interrupting their rehearsals. When a giant snowball fight breaks out, Angelina is sure the dance will be ruined. Will she find a way to make the show a success?

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Angelina Ballerina
Written by Katharine Holabird & illustrated by Helen Craig
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Angelina is a pretty little mouse who wants nothing more than to be a ballerina. She dances all the time—at home, at school, even in her dreams! In fact, she’s so busy dancing that she forgets all about the other things she’s supposed to do, like cleaning her room and joining her family for breakfast! Her parents don’t know what to do—especially after her arabesques in the kitchen knock over the milk! Then one day they come up with an idea that will change Angelina’s life forever… With Katharine Holabird’s lively writing and Helen Craig’s charming illustrations, the original story, now refreshed and re-released, will continue keeping a whole new generation of young ballerinas leaping with delight.

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  1. Meet Angelina Ballerina - Join Angelina Ballerina and dance all around the lovely town of Chipping Cheddar as she and her friends gather for a summer festival in this shaped 8x8 storybook with a sparkly cover--perfect for ballerinas of all ages!

  2. Angelina Ballerina Dresses Up - Play dress up with Angelina Ballerina in this 8x8 storybook complete with a shiny foil cover and paper dolls of Angelina and her friend Alice, as well as clothes to dress them in!

  3. Angelina and the Princess - The classic bestselling picture book Angelina and the Princess is back in a beautiful, refreshed hardcover edition perfect for Angelina fans new and old!

  4. Angelina's New School - Angelina is starting a brand-new dance school and wants to focus on her ballet full-time. But she feels out of place when she realizes all her classmates can perform lots of different types of dance, like Irish step dancing, and that sheAs the only one who wants to do ballet!

Books About Dance and Halloween

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

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

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Frank Was a Monster Who Wanted to Dance
Written by Keith Graves
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Frank was a monster who wanted to dance. So he put on his hat, and his shoes made in France… and opened a jar and put ants in his pants! So begins this monstrously funny, deliciously disgusting, horrifyingly hilarious story of a monster who follows his dream. Keith Graves’ wacky illustrations and laugh-out-loud text will tickle the funny bone and leave readers clamoring for an encore.

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Boo Crew (Nancy Drew Clue Book)
Written by Carolyn Keene & 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!

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  1. Vampirina Ballerina - Oh, to be a ballerina!

  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?

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Books About Dance and America

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Monster Boogie
Written by Laurie Berkner & 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!

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Ready to Fly: How Sylvia Townsend Became the Bookmobile Ballerina
Written by Lea Lyon and Alexandria LaFaye & illustrated by Jessica Gibson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

An inspiring picture book for little ballerinas everywhere!

Ready to Fly is the true story of Sylvia Townsend, an African American girl who falls in love with ballet after seeing Swan Lake on TV.

Although there aren’t many ballet schools that will accept a girl like Sylvia in the 1950s, her local bookmobile provides another possibility. A librarian helps Sylvia find a book about ballet and the determined seven-year-old, with the help of her new books, starts teaching herself the basics of classical ballet.

Soon Sylvia learns how to fly—how to dance—and how to dare to dream.

Lyrical, easy-to-read, and affecting text paired with bright, appealing illustrations make Ready to Fly perfect for aspiring ballerinas everywhere who are ready to leap and to spread their wings.

Includes a foreword from Sylvia Townsend, a brief history of the bookmobile, an author’s note, and a further reading list.

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Jose! Born to Dance
Written by Susanna Reich & illustrated by Raúl Colón
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.

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  1. The Nutcracker Comes to America: How Three Ballet-Loving Brothers Created a Holiday Tradition - Every December, The Nutcracker comes to life in theaters all across the United States. But how did this 19th-century Russian ballet become such a big part of the holidays in 21st-century America? Meet Willam, Harold, and Lew Christensen, three small-town Utah boys who caught the ballet bug in the early 1900s. They performed on vaudeville and took part in the New York City dance scene. Russian immigrants shared the story of The Nutcracker with them, and during World War II, they staged their own Christmastime production in San Francisco. It was America’s first full-length version and the beginning of a delightful holiday tradition.

  2. Alvin Ailey -

  3. My Story, My Dance - 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.

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Books About Dance and The Nutcracker

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Nutcracker
Written by E.T.A. Hoffmann & illustrated by Maurice Sendak
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

“A classic, new and complete. One of the ten best illustrated children’s books of the year.” — New York Times Book Review

The tale of Nutcracker, written by E.T.A. Hoffmann in 1816, has fascinated and inspired artists, composers, and audiences for almost two hundred years. It has retained its freshness because it appeals to the sense of wonder we all share.

Maurice Sendak designed brilliant sets and costumes for the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Christmas production of Nutcracker and created even more magnificent pictures especially for this book. He joined with the eminent translator Ralph Manheim to produce this illustrated edition of Hoffmann’s wonderful tale, destined to become a classic for all ages.

The world of Nutcracker is a world of pleasures. Maurice Sendak’s art illuminates the delights of Hoffmann’s story in this rich and tantalizing treasure.

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The Nutcracker (Musical Books)
Written by Fiona Watt & illustrated by Dan Taylor
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

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.

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The Nutcracker
Written by Patrick Regan & illustrated by Natasha Kuricheva
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-8

Experience the magic of Tchaikovsky’s classic tale with this lavishly illustrated keepsake book. The Nutcracker is a magical story beloved by generations of children. Follow along as enchanted toys spring to life, dancers glide and twirl, and a little girl learns that kindness is the greatest gift of all. This familiar and charming tale combines with Natasha Kuricheva’s lavishly painted illustrations to create a keepsake book for the whole family to enjoy.

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  1. The Nutcracker - New York Times bestselling artist and Caldecott Honor winner Susan Jeffers has created a Nutcracker as only she can—with lavish illustrations, magnificent detail, a glitter-brushed cover, and enchanting holiday scenes on every page. This is The Nutcracker as you’ve never seen it before! Makes a lovely keepsake and gift. Join Marie, Fritz, and the intriguing Nutcracker himself on a magical Christmas Eve adventure. Behold the frightful Mouse King, the elegant Sugar Plum fairies, and the entire Land of Sweets in this dazzling, gorgeously illustrated holiday classic. With spare text based on the story in the ballet, this book offers a front-row seat to the enthralling tale that is a perennial favorite of adults and children alike. And for Susan Jeffers fans looking for extra content, an author’s note is included at the end of the book, in which she explains what inspired her to turn this holiday tradition into a show-stopping picture book.

  2. Disney The Nutcracker and the Four Realms: A Center Stage Pop-Up Book - The Ballerina of the Realms dances on every page of this magical book! From Disney’s all-new live action film The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, follow the elegant Ballerina of the Realms as she dances center stage in this artistic pop-up book, celebrating each of the unique and picturesque Four Realms. This beautiful format is a perfect holiday gift for fans of this classic tale, full of colorful characters and no shortage of surprises.

  3. The Nutcracker - Adults as well as children look forward to attending an annual performance of The Nutcracker. To sweeten the anticipation and prolong the joy – or just to establish a lovely tradition–settle in with this charming retelling of a young girl’s dreamy visit to the Land of the Sugarplum Fairy. The story is enhanced with magnificent color illustrations created especially for this edition by the late award-winning artist Don Daily. This high-quality, handsomely produced volume is destined for the permanent home library.

  4. The Nutcracker - Each December, generations of children delight in the ballet version of the quintessential Christmas story The Nutcracker. But few have had the opportunity to revel in the richly detailed original tale. Now, in this glorious new edition, acclaimed children’s book author and editor Janet Schulman returns to the source’E.T.A. Hoffmann’s “The Nutcracker and the King of Mice.” Here we meet Marie, her Nutcracker, the Sugar Plum Fairy, and all the other delightful characters, and we discover the answers to questions left unanswered by the ballet, like why the Nutcracker and the King of Mice were enemies.

Books About Dance and Feelings And Emotions

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Pilar's Worries
Written by Victoria M Sanchez & illustrated by Jess Golden
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

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Wally Does Not Want a Haircut
Written & 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.

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Hanazuki: Dazzle and Dance
Written by Stacy Davidowitz & illustrated by Victoria Ying
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Calling all Moonflowers! When Hanazuki and her friends hear about a talent competition on Celebrity Moon, they all want to win the grand prize. Each Moonflower pulls together a team to show off their best talents, and they practice, practice, practice! But Hanazuki’s team is cracking under the pressure. With a little help from Lavender Hemka, she’s going to show them that all they need is a little inspiration! Then Team Hanazuki will be ready to take on Celebrity Moon and the whole galaxy.

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  1. Son of Happy - The boy in this story never wants to go to his friends’ birthday parties, because Happy the Clown is always there. And Happy is … his dad. He wishes his dad had a regular job, like all the other kids’ parents. He didn’t mind his dad being a clown when he was a little kid, but now it’s just embarrassing. And even worse, since business is slow, his dad is putting a sign on the front lawn advertising his clown services! But one night at dinner Dad announces that he’s going back to his old job of being a lawyer. “You were a lawyer?” the boy asks, incredulous. Now his dad wears a suit and tie to work, the family can buy a new car, his mom can take piano lessons, and he can have a skateboard and cellphone. But something feels different. The boy wonders if his dad misses being a clown. Or is he the one who misses Happy? With bittersweet humor, Cary Fagan brings us a story about a boy’s growing consciousness and a father’s realization that he can be himself.

  2. Oopsie-do! - “Cheery and affirming.” —Kirkus From Grammy Award–winning musician and TV host Tim Kubart and illustrator Lori Richmond comes a lively picture book debut that reassures children that it’s okay to make mistakes! When a girl drops her snack or scrapes her knee, does she get upset? No! She says, “Oopsie-do!” Readers will delight as they follow along and call out the OOPSIE-DO! refrain throughout the story. This delightful picture book also includes the link to a free original song by Grammy winner Tim Kubart, available for download and sure to be a part of every repeat reading.

  3. Room 555 - Fourteen-year-old Roonie loves hip-hop almost as much as she loves her grandmother. She cannot wait to compete in her school’s dance competition. But as her grandmother’s health deteriorates, Roonie becomes more and more reluctant to visit her in the care home. These feelings of guilt and frustration cause Roonie to mess things up with her hip-hop dance partner and best friend, Kira. But while doing some volunteer hours in the hospital geriatric ward, Roonie meets an active senior recovering from a bad fall. Their shared love of dance and the woman’s zest for life help Roonie face her fears, make amends with Kira and reconnect with Gram before it’s too late.

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

Books About Dance and Magic

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The Nutcracker and the Four Realms: The Dance of the Realms
Written by Calliope Glass & illustrated by Marco Bucci and Misty Copeland
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

With breathtaking painterly illustrations, a deeply enchanting story, and a foreword written by celebrated dancer Misty Copeland, this picture book brings The Nutcracker and the Four Realms to life in a brand-new way. As the adventure from the film jumps off of the screen and onto the page, a new generation of readers and fans will be drawn in and enchanted by the holiday spirit, the beauty of dance, and the magic of storytelling.

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The Nutcracker
Written by E.T.A. Hoffman & 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.

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The Nutcracker: The Original Holiday Classic
Written by E.T.A. Hoffman & illustrated by Arkady Roytman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-12

Publishing just in time for the forthcoming 2018 film adaptation, this edition of The Nutcracker is sure to enchant readers young and old. On Christmas Eve, seven-year-old Marie and her eight-year-old brother Fritz anxiously await their Christmas gifts. When their godfather—a clock builder and toymaker—arrives, he unveils an ornate clockwork castle adorned with whirling figurines for the children. While Fritz plays with the clock, Marie is taken aside and given another gift—a nutcracker. After Fritz grabs the nutcracker from Marie and breaks its jaw by cracking too many nuts, their playtime ends and they head off to bed. When the clock strikes twelve, magic makes its way into this enduring tale and an epic battle ensues. This timeless classic, featuring all-new full-color and black-and-white illustrations by artist Arkady Roytman and abridged text by Gina Gold, is the perfect story to get anyone in the holiday spirit!

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  1. Magic in Changing Your Stars - Can you change your fate

  2. Nutcracked - Christmastime, ballet, and magic! An original take on The Nutcracker ballet! Georgie has waited for this moment her whole life—to dance the part of Clara in The Nutcracker ballet. And when she finally gets the part, it’s like a dream come true. . . . Literally. Every time Georgie dances with the Nutcracker doll, she leaves the ballet studio and enters a world where everything around her—the old wooden furniture, the Christmas tree, the carefully wrapped presents—is larger than life. It’s so magical, Georgie can’t wait to return again and again. Then the Nutcracker’s magic seeps into the real world, putting Georgie’s friend in danger. Everything is falling apart, and it’s almost Christmas! Can Georgie save her friend, the Nutcracker, and most of all, herself?

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Books About Dance and Cats

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Bijou, Bonbon and Beau
Written by Joan Sweeney & illustrated by Leslie Wu
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Three little kittens create a sensation when they join dancers onstage of a Parisian theater known for its ballet and for the artist who paints there.

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Royal Ball, Volume 2
Written by & illustrated by Ellen Stubbings
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-9
Itty must learn to dance before her first royal ball in this second adorable book in the Itty Bitty Princess Kitty chapter book series!
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Jellicle Cats
Written by TS Eliot & illustrated by Arthur Robins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 1-5

Jellicle Cats come one and all.

_Jellicles come to the Jellicle Ball.

_Join the Jellicle Cats under the Jellicle Moon in the forth picture-book pairing from Arthur Robins and T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s cats, as they dance the night away.

To sit alongside other classics such as The Gruffalo, The Tiger Who Came to Tea, and Spot.

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  1. Pete the Cat and the Cool Cat Boogie - Put on your dancing shoes--Pete is ready to boogie!

  2. 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.

  3. Mousequerade Ball: A Counting Tale - 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!

  4. 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.

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Books About Dance and Multicultural

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Thank You, Garden
Written by Liz Garton Scanlon & illustrated by Simone Shin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

From the author of the Caldecott Honor–winning picture book All the World comes an exuberant, lyrical celebration of the plants—and people—that grow and thrive in a busy community garden.

A community garden unites children and neighbors in this celebration of all the things that grow there, from flowers and fruits to friendships. In the spirit of her Caldecott Honor­–winning picture book All the World, this ode to friendship, community, and working together for a better world will have young readers gathering their friends young and old to plant something together.

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Let's Dance!
Written by Valerie Bolling & illustrated by Maine Diaz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

This rhythmic showcase of dances from all over the world features children of diverse backgrounds and abilities tapping, spinning, and boogying away!

Tap, twirl, twist, spin! With musical, rhyming text, author Valerie Bolling shines a spotlight on dances from across the globe, while energetic art from Maine Diaz shows off all the moves and the diverse people who do them. From the cha cha of Cuba to the stepping of Ireland, kids will want to leap, dip, and zip along with the dances on the page!

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How Do You Dance?
Written & illustrated by Thyra Heder
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

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.

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  1. 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.

  2. New Moves - Gabby can’t wait to branch out from jazz and try the new contemporary dance class at Ms. Marianne’s Academy of Dance. She loves being able to dance just for fun, rather than for competition. But when she makes a new friend in class, her BFFs can’t help feeling left out. Can Gabby figure out how to balance her new friend-and her new moves-without saying goodbye to her old ones?

  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. 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.

Books About Dance and Christmas And Advent

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First Stories: Nutcracker
Written by & 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.

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Daniel and the Nutcracker (Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood)
Written by Angela C Santomero and Alexandra Cassel & illustrated by Jason Fruchter
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A new generation of children love Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, inspired by the classic series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood! The show must go on as Daniel Tiger and his friends dance the Nutcracker ballet in this adorable board book with a padded cover and holographic foil! It’s the perfect stocking stuffer for Daniel Tiger fans! Daniel Tiger can’t wait to see his friends Katerina Kittycat and Prince Wednesday perform together in the Nutcracker Ballet! But when he arrives at the Enchanted Garden, Daniel learns that Prince Wednesday is sick and can’t dance! Can Daniel step in and save the show?

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The Nutcracker (Little Golden Book)
Written by Rita Balducci & illustrated by Sheilah Beckett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

A Christmas classic returns to Little Golden Books, with beautiful new artwork by a beloved Golden Books illustrator! The Nutcracker is back in print as a Little Golden Book, with all-new illustrations by Sheilah Beckett, who started illustrating Golden Books in the 1950s. This lovely retelling of the famous ballet will be a perfect holiday gift for any child who loves the ballet, Christmas stories, and fairy tales!

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  1. The Story of the Nutcracker Ballet - Celebrate the season with one of the most beloved holiday stories of all-time, The Story of the Nutcracker Ballet. The perfect addition to your Christmastime! Featuring glorious illustrations by Caldecott Honor-winner, Diane Goode, this beautiful and adventurous classic tale will dance its way into your family’s holiday traditions for years to come.

  2. The Nutcracker Ballet - A Step 3 early reader retelling of the classic story of the Christmas ballet, The Nutcracker. From the opening Christmas Eve party scene to the closing scene in which Marie and her Nutcracker prince bid farewell to the Land of the Sweets, young readers will be enchanted while enjoying a successful reading experience. Step 3 Readers feature engaging characters in easy-to-follow plots about popular topics—for children who are ready to read on their own.

  3. The Nutcracker's Night Before Christmas - In The Nutcracker’s Night Before Christmas preparations for a doomed stage production of the classic ballet goes from terribly bad to ridiculously worse. Sick stagehands, renegade cats, and crashing Christmas trees have everyone sure that the show won’t go on. But it’s Christmas Eve and help is on the way! Told in verse with wonderful whimsical illustrations, this story hits all the right notes for holiday reading.

  4. Nutcracker in Harlem - A Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Book of the Year!

Books About Dance and School

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Sticks and Stones
Written & illustrated by Patricia Polacco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From New York Times bestselling author and master storyteller Patricia Polacco comes the uplifting tale of three inseparable friends who pursue their talents and stop at nothing to achieve their dreams.

Based on her own childhood memory, author Patricia Polacco shares the pivotal story of one year in elementary school. On the first day of school, she breaks out in a rash and is called “Cootie” by her classmates. It seems like the year will be a disaster for Patricia until she meets Thom and Ravenne.

Each of the friends have their own talent. Thom, with his long legs and graceful manner, loves to dance ballet earning him the name “Sissy Boy.” Ravenne makes kits and paints on fabric, but she’s shy that people call her “Her Ugliness.” Thom, Ravenne, and Patricia are bullied by their classmates causing the three friends to band together for support. For years after that fateful year, encourage each other to stay true to themselves and achieve success in their passions.

This endearing and timely story celebrates uniqueness and proves that no matter what challenges stand in your way it’s your differences that make you who you are.

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Roscoe Riley Rules #5: Don't Tap-Dance on Your Teacher
Written by Katherine Applegate & illustrated by Brian Biggs
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

The hilarious chapter book series about an accidental rule breaker from Katherine Applegate--Newbery Medal winning and bestselling author of The One and Only Ivan, Crenshaw, and Wishtree--returns with a fresh new look from artist Brian Biggs and bonus material!

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The Third Wheel
Written & illustrated by Jeff Kinney
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Greg Heffley is not willing to be the odd man out.

A dance at Greg’s middle school has everyone scrambling to find a partner, and Greg is determined not to be left by the wayside. So he concocts a desperate plan to find someone—anyone!—to go with on the big night.

But Greg’s schemes go hilariously awry, and his only option is to attend the dance with his best friend, Rowley Jefferson, and a female classmate as a “group of friends.” But the night is long, and anything can happen along the way. Who will arrive at the dance triumphantly, and who will end up being the third wheel?

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  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. Best. Night. Ever. - Love Actually meets Adventures in Babysitting in this “fun, fresh” (Kirkus Reviews) novel written by seven authors about seven classmates who are preparing for a crazy night at their middle school dance.

  3. So Done - When best friends Tai and Mila are reunited after a summer apart, their friendship threatens to combust from the pressure of secrets, middle school, and the looming dance auditions for a new talented-and-gifted program. Fans of Renée Watson’s Piecing Me Together will love this memorable story about a complex friendship between two very different African American girls—and the importance of speaking up. Jamila Phillips and Tai Johnson have been inseparable since they were toddlers, having grown up across the street from each other in Pirates Cove, a low-income housing project. As summer comes to an end, Tai can’t wait for Mila to return from spending a month with her aunt in the suburbs. But both girls are grappling with secrets, and when Mila returns she’s more focused on her upcoming dance auditions than hanging out with Tai. Paula Chase explores complex issues that affect many young teens, and So Done offers a powerful message about speaking up. Full of ballet, basketball, family, and daily life in Pirates Cove, this memorable novel is for fans of Ali Benjamin’s The Thing About Jellyfish and Jason Reynolds’s Ghost.

  4. Ellen Tebbits - Ellen Tebbits has an embarrassing secret that she’ll never share with anyone. That is, until she meets Austine—and discovers that Austine has the exact same secret! Soon the girls are best friends who do everything to­gether—attending dance class, riding horses, and dodging pesky Otis Spofford, the neighborhood troublemaker. But then Ellen does something terrible . . . and now Austine isn’t speaking to her. Ellen desperately wants her best friend back. How can she show Austine how sorry she is? Newbery Medal-winning author Beverly Cleary brings her warm humor to this funny story of a girl readers will recognize—and love.

Want to see 6 more books about dance and school ?

How about books about school?

Books About Dance and Social Themes

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Bear Who Loved to Dance
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Bear loves to dance–ballet, tap, swing, even breakdance. But there’s just one problem: he doesn’t seem to be very good at it. One day Bear spots a poster for an ice-skating competition–only for bears. Despite feeling nervous on the first day, Bear’s swishing, twizzling performance is amazing. The judges award him 10 out of 10 and he wins the gold medal. The other animals who laughed at Bear’s dancing suddenly discover that ice skating isn’t quite as easy as they thought.

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Zack Delacruz: Me and My Big Mouth
Written by Jeff Anderson & 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?

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Zack Delacruz
Written by Jeff Anderson & 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?

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

  2. Ballet Kitty - Ballet Kitty wakes up in the pinkballerina pink, of courseuntil she realizes she can t find her slippers anywhere. Suddenly her leaps aren t as lighthearted or her pirouettes as pretty. Where could they be? she mumbles and grumbles. How can she dance in her clunky old sneakers? But very quickly Kitty discovers that as long as she s doing her most perfect plies and cutest curtsies, she ll always be happyright from her head to the tips of her little pointed toes!
    Bernette Ford s delightful dance-loving story and Sam Williams s charming pas de deux of pussycats will inspire every little ballerina!”

Epilogue

10 books that are just too good to leave off of our dance list.
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  1. Llama Llama Hoppity-Hop! - 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!

  2. The Jellybeans and the Big Dance - 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.

  3. Love Is a Tutu - 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. :)

  4. 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.

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

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

  3. Max - 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.

  4. This Little Trailblazer: A Girl Power Primer - Learn all about influential women who changed history in this engaging and colorful board book perfect for trailblazers-in-training! Paving the way to a future that’s bright. Helping the world with their skills, smarts, and might. Little trailblazers cause great big changes. In this follow up to This Little President and This Little Explorer, now even the youngest readers can learn all about great and empowering female trailblazers in history! Highlighting ten memorable women leaders who paved the way, parents and little ones alike will love this girl power primer full of fun, age-appropriate facts and bold illustrations.

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  1. The Snowman Shuffle - Spin like a snowflake, swoosh like the wind, and shuffle like a snowman in this interactive board book. The rhyming text and fun instruction will delight both adults and children and chase away any winter blues!

  2. 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.

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