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My youngest is a dancer. More specifically, she’s a ballerina. She’s been dancing since she was four. Over the years, she’s done all genres of dance. As a result, we have read many books about dance.
Whether you have a little dancer or you just have a little one who would enjoy reading about dance, I’ve compiled a great list of dance-themed picture books for young readers. Enjoy!
Books for Young Dancers
Fill your book basket with a great collection of books for young dancers. Most of these books can be found at your local library or used bookstore. If you have a hard time finding them, you can order them on Amazon by clicking the images below.
Alicia Alonso: Prima Ballerina | Alicia Alonso’s artistic achievements are remarkable, considering that she became partially blind and lost her peripheral vision at age nineteen. From childhood, she exhibited a passion for dancing, studying first in Cuba and later in New York City, where she became an overnight sensation in Giselle and was promoted to principal dancer in Ballet Theater.
Little Ballerina Dancing Book | The book introduces five dances from famous ballets such as “The Nutcracker” and “Swan Lake”, and illustrates young ballerinas how to perform some of the simpler steps.
Barbie in the Pink Shoes | Girls ages 2-5 will love this exciting full-color Little Golden Book retelling of the Barbie movie.
Degas and the Little Dancer | Young Marie wants to be a ballerina, but her parents have no money for lessons. She must earn what little money she can as an artist’s model at a ballet school. Then, her life takes an unusual turn when she models for the famous sculptor, Edgar Degas.
Song and Dance Man | 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.
Rap A Tap Tap: Here’s Bojangles – Think of That! | This simple book for young children has the added bonus of describing the life of a ground-breaking African-American tap dancer.
Tallchief: America’s Prima Ballerina | The fascinating story of Maria Tallchief’s rise to become America’s prima ballerina will captivate young readers.
Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova | Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova is a heartbreakingly beautiful picture book biography perfect for aspiring ballerinas of all ages.
Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring | A picture book about the making of Martha Graham’s Appalachian Spring, her most famous dance performance.
The Jellybeans Love to Dance | Just as different flavors of jelly beans taste delicious together, the girls learn how to team up to make their dance recital a success!
Dancing Feet! | Introducing a get-up-and-dance toddler book-so catchy and rhythmic, you’ll almost want to sing it.
I’m a Ballerina | Young readers will enjoy seeing what happens in a class, and young ballerinas will see themselves in this book.
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.
Pinkalicious Tutu-rrific | Pinkalicious can’t wait to go to ballet class with her best friend, Alison, but things take a turn when there’s a mix-up and Pinkalicious ends up in the big kids’ class. Will Pinkalicious get lost among the dancers, or will she be able to jump to new heights?
Fancy Nancy Budding Ballerina | What starts out as dancing school just for Dad quickly turns into a ballet class for Nancy’s whole family.
We Love Ballet! | Full of bright and lively photographs, ballet terms, and easy-to-understand definitions, this fun introduction to a ballet class will have little dancers eager to take center stage and reach for the stars
Ballerina: A Step-by-Step Guide to Ballet | This richly illustrated guide uses beautiful photographs, informative text, and a free instructional DVD to help beginner and intermediate ballet students gain a greater understanding of this timeless art.
Tip-Tap Pop | Emma and her grandpa, Pop, are tap-dancing pals. They dig-shuffle-chug through town and put on a clickity-clacking, tip-tapping show every year on Emma’s birthday. But Pop is getting old. He starts forgetting things, even Emma’s birthday. And he stops dancing. Can Emma help Pop’s feet remember how to dance?
Katy Duck and the Tip-Top Tap Shoes | Katy Duck meets a new friend AND learns a new dance in this encouraging tale for beginning readers.
Ballerina Girl | A little girl puts on different costumes and pretends she’s a ballerina performing for an audience
A Child’s Introduction to Ballet | The latest volume in this successful book-and-CD series combines the mesmerizing stories of the world’s great ballets with fun facts, dancing how-tos, history, profiles— all accompanied by charming original watercolors.
I Wear My Tutu Everywhere! | Tilly loves her tutu, and she never wants to take it off. She wears it everywhere–in the pool, at the zoo, even in the rain! So what will Tilly do when her tutu accidentally gets torn?
Tap-Dance Fever | The people of Fiddler’s Creek are in for a big surprise when they try to cure Annabelle’s Tap-Dance Fever.
Firebird | 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.
Ballerina Wings | Cassie has always wanted to be a ballerina, and she can’t wait to try out for the first annual Big Ballet. But when she finds out the audition is for the Bug Ballet, not the Big Ballet, she and her friends work together to think of a way to make her dancing dream come true.
The Twelve Dancing Princesses | Of silver, gold, and diamonds to a twilight palace where the bewitched princesses dance to hypnotic music.
Giraffes Can’t Dance | Giraffes Can’t Dance is a touching tale of Gerald the giraffe, who wants nothing more than to dance. With crooked knees and thin legs, it’s harder for a giraffe than you would think. Gerald is finally able to dance to his own tune when he gets some encouraging words from an unlikely friend.
Dancing in the Wings | Sassy is a long-legged girl who always has something to say. She wants to be a ballerina more than anything, but she worries that her too-large feet, too-long legs, and even her big mouth will keep her from her dream. When a famous director comes to visit her class, Sassy does her best to get his attention with her high jumps and bright leotard. Her first attempts are definitely not appreciated, but with Sassy’s persistence, she just might be able to win him over.
The Night Before My Dance Recital | It’s the night before a young girl’s first dance recital. At the dress rehearsal, she and her class go over the steps one last time. What if she messes up? she worries. But the next day, she’s ready to perform. When the class spins left she spins right! Without missing a beat, she keeps on dancing and smiling.
Sophie’s Ballet Show | This delightful story about a little girl who joins a ballet class comes with big color illustrations and all kinds of interactive features on every page. There are tabs to pull, flaps to lift, wheels to turn, and a wonderful pop-up ballet scene on the book’s final two-page spread.
Angelina Ballerina| The original story about the feisty little mouse who wants nothing more than to dance still keeps young ballerinas leaping with delight.
I Want to Be a Ballerina | When Mia tries to become a ballerina just like her big sister, she discovers that getting the right outfit is just the beginning. Despite great effort, there are lots of mishaps, and Mia doesn’t quite become the prima ballerina she hoped to be. But she does finally earn her true reward: time with her sister.
Allison Rose and Her Dancing Toes | “Dancing keeps me on my toes,” announces Allison Rose. She dances here and there and everywhere, even when people stop and stare. No problem for her, but she thinks how much more fun would it be if others were so free and would kick up their own heels? So, she introduces them to every dance she can think of – the waltz, the tango, the bunny hop, hip hop, line dancing, fine dancing, the can can, the polka and schottische.
A Berry Bitty Ballet | The ballet has come to Berry Bitty City, and Strawberry and her friends have all been cast in the show.
Dogs Don’t Do Ballet | Meet Biff, an adorable little puppy who will stop at nothing to become a ballet dancer.
Love is a Tutu | Sweet and spare rhymes prance across the pages, engaging the reader with real ballet terms and plenty of pink.
The Nutcracker | 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.
The Cambodian Dancer |The Cambodian Dancer is the true story of a Cambodian refugee—a dancer and teacher—who built a life in the US after fleeing the Khmer Rouge. She became a counselor to other Cambodian refugees and created a school of dance for children.
Backyard Ballet | Girls ages 3 to 7 will discover the power of ballet and wishes in this full color Little Golden Book.
The Big Ballet Show | Dora the Explorer is ready to star in the big dance recital—but her slippers are missing!
Tallulah’s Tutu | Tallulah just knew she could be a great ballerina, if only she had a tutu. So she starts ballet class. When she does not receive a tutu, she quits. But everywhere she goes, things keep reminding her of ballet.
T is for Tutu | Tutus and leotards, pointe shoes and ribbons, stretching exercises at the barre – these are all familiar images when one is thinking of ballet. But there’s much more to this historic dance form than pink tulle.
The Barefoot Book of Ballet Stories | Let yourself be drawn into the fascinating world of dance with these exciting and accessible tales from the world s most famous ballets, including Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty.
Mia: The Snow Day Ballet | Mia can’t wait to see a ballet performance on stage! But when heavy snowfall keeps Mia from seeing the show, she and her friends plan their own spectacular act in the snow.
Brontorina | Brontorina has a dream. She wants to dance. But Brontorina is rather large — too large to fit in Madame Lucille’s dance studio. Brontorina does not have the right shoes, and everyone knows you can’t dance without the proper footwear. Still, Brontorina knows, deep in her heart, that she is meant to be a ballerina.
Edwina the Emu | Edward the Emu, Edward and his mate Edwina are the proud parents of ten little emu eggs. “Don’t get depressed. I’ll find a job, you stay on the nest,” says Edwina to her stunned mate. And so Edwina sets out to find a job in this lighthearted offering from down under.
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