Best Kids Books About Dance

Our Favorite 23 Books about Dance

Updated Mar. 19, 2019

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

Flora and the Flamingo book
#1
Flora and the Flamingo
Written and illustrated by Molly Idle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

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

Giant Dance Party book
#2
Giant Dance Party
Written by Betsy Bird and illustrated by Brandon Dorman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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

Zombelina book
#3
Zombelina
Written by Kristyn Crow and illustrated by Molly Schaar Idle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

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

Swan book
#4
Swan
Written by Laurel Snyder and illustrated by Julie Morstad
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

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

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

Chicken Dance book
#5
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.

Dancing in the Wings book
#6
Dancing in the Wings
Written by Debbie Allen and 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.

Fancy Nancy: Budding Ballerina book
#7
Fancy Nancy: Budding Ballerina
Written by Jane O'Connor and 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.

Wally Does Not Want a Haircut book
#8
Wally Does Not Want a Haircut
Written and illustrated by Amanda Driscoll
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

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

Song and Dance Man book
#9
Song and Dance Man
Written by Karen Ackerman and illustrated by Stephen Gammell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Illus. in full color. "In this affectionate story, three children follow their grandfather up to the attic, where he pulls out his old bowler hat, gold-tipped cane, and his tap shoes. Grandpa once danced on the vaudeville stage, and as he glides across the floor, the children can see what it was like to be a song and dance man. Gammell captures all the story's inherent joie de vivre with color pencil renderings that leap off the pages. Bespectacled, enthusiastic Grandpa clearly exudes the message that you're only as old as you feel, but the children respond—as will readers—to the nostalgia of the moment. Utterly original."—(starred) Booklist.

Andy & Sandy And The Big Talent Show book
#10
Andy & Sandy And The Big Talent Show
Written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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

Bagel in Love book
#11
Bagel in Love
Written by Natasha Wing and illustrated by Helen Dardik
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-10

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

Elephants Cannot Dance! book
#12
Elephants Cannot Dance!
Written and illustrated by Mo Willems
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Gerald the elephant is certain that he cannot dance but his friend Piggie convinces him to try.

One More Dino on the Floor book
#13
One More Dino on the Floor
Written by Kelly Starling Lyons and illustrated by Luke Flowers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

It's a hip-hopping, foot-stomping, hand-clapping, finger-snapping good time when the dinosaurs go out on the dance floor! One by one (and all the way up to ten), the dinosaurs get their groove on in this delightful counting book! With bright and colorful illustrations and fun, rhythmic text, young readers will be tapping their feet to the Jurassic beat!

Footloose book
#14
Footloose
Written by Kenny Loggins and illustrated by Tim Bowers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6

In this version of the pop rock song "Footloose," zookeeper Jack joins the zoo animals in an all-night dance party.

Ballet Boy book
#15
Ballet Boy
Written and illustrated by Anfaney Gladwin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Andy & Sandy and the Big Talent Show book
#16
Andy & Sandy and the Big Talent Show
Written by Tomie dePaola and illustrated by Jim Lewis, Tomie dePaola
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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

Monster Boogie book
#17
Monster Boogie
Written by Laurie Berkner and illustrated by Ben Clanton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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

Max book
#18
Max
Written and illustrated by Rachel Isadora
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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

Ballet Shoes book
#19
Ballet Shoes
Written and illustrated by Noel Streatfeild
picture 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.

Ivy and Bean Doomed to Dance book
#20
Ivy and Bean Doomed to Dance
Written by Annie Barrows and illustrated by Sophie Blackall
picture 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

Jazz Baby book
#21
Jazz Baby
Written by Lisa Wheeler and illustrated by R Gregory Christie
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Baby and his family make some jazzy music.

The Twelve Dancing Princesses book
#22
The Twelve Dancing Princesses
Written by Marianna Mayer and illustrated by Kinuko Y. Craft
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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

On stage, please book
#23
On stage, please
Written by Veronica Tennant and illustrated by Rita Briansky
picture book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

A young girl begins serious training for a career as a professional dancer.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected] with your book and list suggestion.