A Child’s Introduction to Ballet

By Laura Lee


The stories, music and magic of classical dance

Why do ballet dancers stand like ducks?
How high can the greatest ballet dancers leap?
What famous ballet company was originally made up of orphans?
Which famous ballet dancer did a duet with Miss Piggy on The Muppet Show?

Introduce your child to the magical world of ballet with this truly delightful picture book! Twenty-five of the world’s best-known ballets are told here, including La Sylphide, CoppeliaSwan Lake, FirebirdRodeo, Fancy Free and The Nutcracker. They are accompanied by corresponding tracks on an enclosed CD, fun facts, a glossary of terms, and charming original watercolours by Meredith Lee.

Surrounding the stories is a captivating, illustrated history of ballet, each page filled with information, artwork, and profiles of the world’s great dancers, choreographers, and composers. There are even instructions on ballet positions and the key moves that every dancer needs to know.

Best of all, this picture book is suitable for boys and girls, even if girls tend to dominate the ancillary images. Fast facts about Nijinsky, Nureyev, Baryshnikov and Balanchine are included, and there’s lots here to entertain and educate young readers. Recommended for ages 9 and up, this generous book (96 pages) should be fine for some junior, advanced readers too.

Happily, many of the stories described in this book are readily available on DVD. So consider complementing this picture books with one or two choice recordings – and bring your child’s love of ballet alive!

Author: Laura Lee
Illustrator: Meredith Hamilton
Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, 2007. Hardcover, 96 pages with enclosed CD.
ISBN-13: 978-1579126995