The Ultimate List of Dance and Ballet Picture Books for Children by Age

Every night my children and I have a ritual. After bath and shower time we sit on the couch and read several picture books. We have collated quite a collection of children’s literature, but some of our favourite books to read are those about ballet, dance and movement.

The best dance and ballet picture books have storylines, rhymes, and words that are about all different types and styles of dance. They have characters that dance or move but can be set anywhere from a dance studio to a farm to outer space. They also contain have illustrations, photographs, or drawings that show movement and dance.

There are 113 books currently on this list, and although it is not exhaustive, it is a great list of the many books that are either currently in print or that have copies available for purchase. Being such a large list I do not own them all and have not read them all, but I have borrowed many from our local library and do have a large collection of dance books that are on this list as well.

I have grouped the books based on their recommended reading ages by the publisher but please note that this does not mean you can’t buy a book in the 2-4 year old range for a 7 year old or vice versa. The ages are just a guide, buy what you think your dancer will enjoy reading and listening to.

Dance and Ballet Books for 0-2year olds


My First Dance Ballet – Board Book

Title: My First Dance Ballet
Author: Inc. Sterling Publishing Co.

BOOK BLURB:
Plié, relevé, jeté, BALLET! Share your love of classical dance with little ones. From the five basic positions to simple first steps to performance time, this charming book introduces the basic elements of ballet. Beautiful photographs of a diverse cast of young dancers capture all the elegant and dynamic moves in action.


I Can Dance

Title: I Can Dance
Author: Betsy Snyder

BOOK BLURB:
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.


Ballet Slippers

Title: Ballet Slippers – Board Book
Author: Cindy Jin

BOOK BLURB:
Perfect for all aspiring dancers, Ballet Slippers teaches little ones the basic terms of ballet. Shaped like a pair of ballet slippers, the book also features a textured, padded cover that feels like satin shoes! With photographic interiors and simple text, this novelty book focuses on the joy of dancing and twirling around. Now step out and dance! It’s time to take center stage!


Dinosaur Dance

Title: Dinosaur Dance!
Author: Sandra Boynton

BOOK BLURB:
Join Boynton’s lively prehistoric bunch as they get everyone’s tails shaking for a feet-stomping good time. Whether they dance the Shimmy Shimmy Shake, the Quivery Quake, or just decide to Cha-Cha-Cha, young readers are sure to giggle along with these adorable creatures that are ready for a ROARING good time!


Barnyard Dance

Title: Barnyard Dance
Author: Sandra Boynton

BOOK BLURB:
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.


Let’s Dance Little Pookie

Title: Let’s Dance little Pookie
Author: Sandra Boynton

BOOK BLURB:
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!


Baby Dance

Title: Baby Dance
Author: Ann Taylor
Illustrator: Marjorie van Heerden

BOOK BLURB:
Up and down, to and fro, coo and crow baby, there you go. Up to the ceiling, down to the ground, backward and forward, round and round … All babies love to be lifted, twirled and held in loving arms. Now a rhythmic poem by nineteenth century poet Anne Taylor makes a delightful board book perfect for baby and parent to share.


My First Dance Tap!

Title: My First Dance Tap!
Author: Inc. Sterling Publishing Co.

BOOK BLURB:
Shuffle and stomp and time step, too: come along and see those tapping feet! Kids can learn about this popular American dance style through 20 words and phrases paired with colorful photographs of young performers in action.


Watch Me Dance

Title: Watch me Dance
Author: Andrea and Brian Pinkney

BOOK BLURB:
Watch Me Dance, explore the joys of rhythm and movement.


Una The Unicorn Who Loves To Dance

Title: Una The Unicorn Who Loves To Dance
Author: Amelia Gatacre

BOOK BLURB:
Una the Unicorn Who Loves To Dance is a toe-tapping tale of one unicorn’s talent. Una dances, boogies and grooves and everyone loves her funky moves! Pull some shapes and shake your hooves as Una shows you how to dazzle on the dancefloor!


Matisse Dance with Joy

Title: Matisse Dance with Joy
Author: Susan Goldman Rubin

BOOK BLURB:
Here in the latest addition to our contemporary art board-book series, Henri Matisse’s exuberant cut-paper art leaps off the page, accompanied by simple, lyrical text sure to delight the very young.


Love is a Tutu

Title: Love is a Tutu
Author: Amy Novesky
Illustrator: Sara Gillingham 

BOOK BLURB:
This beautifully designed and playfully illustrated novelty board book is the perfect starting point for tiny ballerinas and parents alike. Sweet and spare rhymes prance across the pages, engaging the reader with real ballet terms and plenty of pink. Parents and toddlers together will sigh Bravo as they turn off the light.


I Look Up To…Misty Copeland

Title: I Look Up To…Misty Copeland
Author: Anna Membrino
Illustrator: Fatti Burke 

BOOK BLURB:
It’s never too early to introduce your child to the people you admire! This board book distills American ballet dancer Misty Copeland’s excellent qualities into an eminently shareable read-aloud text with graphic, eye-catching illustrations.


You’re Tutu Cute!

Title: You’re Tutu Cute!
Author: Anna Membrino
Illustrator: Fatti Burke 

BOOK BLURB:
Pint-sized ballerinas will twirl and spin, slide and scoot right along with the playful teddy bear in this adorable book from Sandra Magsamen. Every turn of the page and lift of the flap tells readers lovingly that they are “tutu” cute just the way they are, and encourages them to get up and dance!


Dance and Ballet Books for 2-4 year olds

Josephine Wants to Dance

Title: Josephine Wants to Dance
Author: Jackie French
Illustrator: Bruce Whately

BOOK BLURB:
Josephine loves to dance. She dreams of wearing a pink tutu and silk ballet shoes. But everyone reminds her that kangaroos don’t dance! they hop! Kangaroos don’t wear tutus, and they never wear ballet shoes! So Josephine sneaks into town, where the ballet rehearses and watches for hours as the dancers spin and swirl and pirouette and curtsy.


Elephants Cannot Dance!

Title: Elephants Cannot Dance
Author: Mo Willems

BOOK BLURB:
Gerald is careful. Piggie is not.
Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can. Gerald worries so that Piggie does not have to. Gerald and Piggie are best friends.


Hip-Hop Lollipop

Title: Hip-Hop Lollipop
Author: Susan McElroy Montanari
Illustrator: Brian Pinkney

BOOK BLURB:
Watch as Lollipop grooves her way through her bedtime routine, brushing her teeth to the beat and shimmying into pjs. She sways along with her sister, her parents, and even some enthusiastic pets until, finally, Lollie closes her eyes and dances through her dreams. Susan Montanari and Caldecott Honor winner Brian Pinkney offer a playful bedtime read-aloud that perfectly captures the joy of music, movement, and family.


I’m A Ballerina

Title: I’m A Ballerina
Author: Sue Fliess
Illustrator: Joey Chou

BOOK BLURB:
A little girl invites us into her ballet class, and later performs onstage (gulp!) in her first recital. Young readers will enjoy seeing what happens in a class, and young ballerinas will see themselves in this book.


The Night Before My Dance Recital

Title: The Night Before My Dance Recital
Author: Amy Wummer

BOOK BLURB:
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. The Night Before My Dance Recital celebrates this with humor, warmth, and engaging illustrations by Amy Wummer.


Flora and the Flamingo

Title: Flora and the Flamingo
Illustrator: Molly Idle

BOOK BLURB:
In this innovative wordless picture book with interactive flaps, Flora and her graceful flamingo friend explore the trials and joys of friendship through an elaborate synchronized dance. With a twist, a turn, and even a flop, these unlikely friends learn at last how to dance together in perfect harmony. Full of humor and heart, this stunning performance (and splashy ending!) will have readers clapping for more of this fun flamingo story!


Brontorina

Title: Brontorina
Author: James Howe
Illustrator: Randy Cecil

BOOK BLURB:
Brontorina knows, deep in her heart, that she is meant to be a ballerina. James Howe’s lovable dinosaur is of a size outmatched only by her determination, and has talent outmatched only by her charm. Accompanied by Randy Cecil’s beguiling illustrations, here is an irresistible story that proves that no problem is too big when the heart and imagination know no bounds.


I Wear My Tutu Everywhere

Title: I Wear My Tutu Everywhere
Author: Wendy Cheyette Lewison
Illustrator: Mary Morgan

BOOK BLURB:
Brontorina knows, deep in her heart, that she is meant to be a ballerina. James Howe’s lovable dinosaur is of a size outmatched only by her determination, and has talent outmatched only by her charm. Accompanied by Randy Cecil’s beguiling illustrations, here is an irresistible story that proves that no problem is too big when the heart and imagination know no bounds.


Dear Ballerina

Title:Dear Ballerina
Author: Monica Wellington

BOOK BLURB:
The girl in this story loves to stretch, to pose, to point her toes, to swirl and twirl and leap! She practices new steps every day. All her efforts are rewarded when one special day, she gets to dance in a performance with her favorite ballerina.


Bea at Ballet (Board Book)

Title: Bea at Ballet
Author: Rachel Isadora

BOOK BLURB:
Bea loves everything about ballet class, from putting on her leotard and ballet slippers to bowing good-bye at the end of class. Bright, cheerful illustrations show Bea and her class of adorable toddlers learning the basic positions and movements and leaping and twirling to their hearts’ delight.


How Do You Dance

Title: How Do You Dance
Author: Thyra Heder

BOOK BLURB:
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.  


Giraffes Can’t Dance

Title: Giraffes Can’t Dance
Author: Giles Andreae
Illustrator: Guy Parker-Rees

BOOK BLURB:
Gerald would love to join in with the other animals at the Jungle Dance, but everyone knows that giraffes can’t dance …or can they?


Let’s Dance

Title: Let’s Dance
Author: Valerie Bolling
Illustrator: Maine Diaz

BOOK BLURB:
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!


Dance with the Animals

Title: Dance with the Animals
Author: Ella Bailey

BOOK BLURB:
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.


Barn Dance

Title: Barn Dance
Author: Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault
Illustrator: Ted Rand

BOOK BLURB:
Beckoned by the voice, the boy sneaks downstairs, out the door, and walks toward the barn. As he gets closer he hears the sweet sound of a country fiddler and the rhythmic thumping of dancing feet. But who could possibly be having a barn dance in the middle of the night?


Dance

Title: Dance
Author: Matthew Van Fleet

BOOK BLURB:
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!


Dancing Feet!

Title: Dancing Feet!
Author: Lindsey Craig
Illustrator: Marc Brown

BOOK BLURB:
Clickity! Clickity! Long green feet!  
Who is dancing that clickity beat?


The Tip-Tap Dancing Cat

Title: The Tip-Tap Dancing Cat
Author: Joanna Boyle

BOOK BLURB:
Have you ever wondered what your cat gets up to when you’re not around?Oscar is a cat with a secret: he loves to dance! And as it happens, he’s good at it too. He can foxtrot and two-step, tap dance and salsa – and has even been known to FREESTYLE! This energetic picture book will leave readers all set to get up and get their dancing shoes on.


The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish

Title: The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish
Author: Lil Miss Hot Mess
Illustrator: Olga De Dios

BOOK BLURB:
The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish encourages readers to boldly be exactly who they are. Written by a founding member of the nationally recognized Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH), this playful picture book offers a quirky twist on a classic nursery rhyme by illustrating all of the ways to “work it”. The story plays off “The Wheels on the Bus” as it follows a drag queen who performs her routine in front of an awestruck audience. A fun frenzy of fierceness, this book will appeal to readers of all ages.


Allison Rose And Her Dancing Toes

Title: Allison Rose And Her Dancing Toes
Author: Sally Hass

BOOK BLURB:
“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…..


Miss Lina’s Ballerinas

Title: Miss Lina’s Ballerinas
Author: Grace Maccarone
Illustrator:  Christine Davenier

BOOK BLURB:
In four rows of two, Miss Lina’s eight ballerinas—Christina, Edwina, Sabrina, Justina, Katrina, Bettina, Marina, and Nina—dance to the park, at the zoo, and even while doing their schoolwork. They are one perfect act, but when Miss Lina introduces Regina, a new girl, the group of nine’s steps become a mess.


Ballerina

Title: Ballerina
Author: Peter Sis

BOOK BLURB:
“In my view, life without dance
would be quite unthinkable. In this
book, Peter Sís confirms”– Mikhail


Coppelia (Musical Books)

Title: Coppelia (Musical Books)
Author: Rosie Dickins

BOOK BLURB:
Why does the beautiful Coppelia never speak? Swanilda is determined to find out – but uncovers more than she bargained for, in this magical, dance-filled tale. Six tunes from the much-loved ballet accompany this gorgeously illustrated retelling.


Little Fingers Ballet Board book

Title: Little Fingers Ballet Board book
Author: Ashley Marie Mireles
Illustrator: Olga Skomorokhova

BOOK BLURB:
Being a prima ballerina is simple with Little Fingers Ballet! Flip through the pages and become the star of classic ballets. The six spreads feature scenes from Coppellia, Cinderella, La Bayadere, The Nutcracker, Romeo & Juliet, and Swan Lake. Each page gives the reader a ballet step to practice from the actual choreography of the scene.


Penguin Cha-Cha

Title: Penguin Cha-Cha
Author: Kristi Valiant

BOOK BLURB:
Follow a determined girl named Julia as she tries to join in the fun of a mischevious group of dancing penguins. Set in The Romping Chomping Park and Zoo, author/illustrator Kristi Valiant creates a vibrant, funny, and spirited picture book that will leave young readers shaking their very own tail feathers.


i want to be a tutu

Title: i want to be a tutu
Author: Adrienne Banks 

BOOK BLURB:
Kennedie Banks loves to pretend she is a “tutu.” Misses Tulle, her ballet teacher, announces the chance to be in a big play. Will Kennedie become a star ballerina? Or will she fall flat on her face? Read about the new friend Kennedie makes at the end of the book, “i want to be a tutu.”


Little Yura Loves to Dance

Title: Little Yura Loves to Dance
Author: Garry Gekhman 
Illustrator: Agus Prajogo

BOOK BLURB: Little Yura loves to have fun and wants to be friends with everyone! His classmates at school are not always nice, but one day his friend gives a piece of advice…”Dance, it s very good for you!” Little Yura learned that this was true, and it turned out, he loved dancing, too!


Got to Dance

Title: Got to Dance
Author: M.C. Helldorfer  
Illustrator:  Hiroe Nakata

BOOK BLURB: It’s a hot summer day in the city—and with Momma off to work, and big brother off to day camp, the little girl of this joyous story has the summertime blues. The remedy: dancing—and lots of it! Whether flipping pancakes for breakfast, wandering through the zoo, riding the city bus, or enjoying a sudden shower, the little girl dances her way to a fun-filled day. And Grandpa is her lucky companion.


Ballerino Nate

Title: Ballerino Nate
Author: Kimberly Brubaker Bradley  
Illustrator: R.W. Alley

BOOK BLURB: Teased by his brother about wanting to become a ballerina, Nate begins to believe his jokes about having to wear a tutu and pink shoes when he discovers he is the only boy in the class, in a moving story about a young boy’s big dreams and his strong determination to dance!


Dance Is for Everyone

Title: Dance Is for Everyone
Author: Andrea Zuill  

BOOK BLURB:  An alligator dancing ballet? When the reptile takes her place at the barre, Mrs. Iraina and her dancers are very surprised. But since they can’t communicate with the alligator—and she is able to follow along—they just decide to name her Tanya and let her stay. (Would YOU say no to a 450-pound alligator?) Mrs. Iraina even creates a special ballet to showcase Tanya’s larger-than-life talents . . . and super-swishy tail. Then, without warning, Tanya disappears. Funny and irreverent, Dance Is for Everyone shows that, with just a little understanding, anyone can fit in—even a dancing alligator. 


Vampirina Ballerina

Title: Vampirina Ballerina
Author: Anne Marie Pace
Illustrator: LeUyen Pham

BOOK BLURB:  Oh, to be a ballerina! It’s a challenge for any little girl, but even more so if you happen to be a vampire like Vampirina. First of all, you have to find a class that meets at night. Then you have to figure out how to perfect your form when you can’t see yourself in the mirror? And then there’s wearing pink (not the most flattering of colors if you happen to be undead) and that nagging urge to take a little nip out of the other dancers. And worse of all? STAGE FRIGHT!!! 


Dance and Ballet Books for 5-7 year olds

Footloose

Title: Footloose
Author: Kenny Loggins
Illustrator: Tim Bowers

BOOK BLURB:
(Bonus CD!)Jack the zookeeper joins the zoo animals in an all-night dance party! Little ones will love the cast of characters, including the rockin’ chimp Louise (“Geez, Louise!”), Mister DJ Elephant, the lemur Marie (“Oo Wee, Marie”), Milo the wombat, Luke the funkiest cat in the zoo, and so many more rocking, bopping, boogeying, tangoing, shaking, rattling and rolling animals! This new original story is sure to get your feet moving.


Bauhaus Ballet

Title: Bauhaus Ballet
Author: Lesley Barnes
Illustrator: Gabby Dawnay

BOOK BLURB:
Watch the dancers as they leap, spin and kick their way through this beautiful pop–up book. Inspired by the eccentric and innovative Bauhaus Triadic Ballet, this gorgeous book explores colours, shapes, patterns and movements in a visually stunning and enthralling way. With interactive elements let the reader meet the characters, make them move, and bring their performance to life.


Angelina Ballerina

Title: Angelina Ballerina
Author: Katharine Holabird
Illustrator: Helen Craig

BOOK BLURB:
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!


Power Kids: The Dom: The Dance that Saved the World from the Virus

Title: Power Kids: The Dom: The Dance that Saved the World from the Virus
Author: Gabrielle V White

BOOK BLURB:
The Pharamavirus has taken over the world! People are getting sick and the fear from the virus has led to a world of chaos. Dom turns into a superhero and uses his super dance powers to save the world from the virus by spreading joy and love.


The Story Orchestra – Swan Lake

Title: The Story Orchestra – Swan Lake
Author: Katy Flint
Illustrator: Jessica Courtney Tickle

BOOK BLURB:
Discover the spellbinding magic of Swan Lake in this musical retelling of the ballet – push the button on each beautiful scene to hear the vivid sound of an orchestra playing from Tchaikovsky’s score.


Candace Center Stage

Title: Candace Center Stage
Author: Candace Cameron Bure
Illustrator: Christine Battuz

BOOK BLURB:
Every child who loves to dance will surely get a “kick” out of Candace Center Stage, the heartwarming and hilarious tale of a girl who joyfully embraces the song and dance in her heart … even when she doesn’t quite fit in at ballet class.


The Only Boy in Ballet Class 

Title: The Only Boy in Ballet Class 
Author: Denise Grusk
Illustrator:  Amy Wummer

BOOK BLURB:
Tucker loves ballet-even though some people don’t understand his passion for dancing. Taunted by the boys on the football field, tortured by dorky twin sisters, and teased by his Uncle Frank, Tucker doesn’t know how to help people see how ballet makes him feel . . . until one day, when an unexpected invitation to join the football game comes, and Tucker Dohr gets the chance to prove just what ballet dancing can do!


Rap a Tap Tap: Here’s Bojangles – Think of That!

Title: Rap a Tap Tap: Here’s Bojangles – Think of That!
Author:  Diane Dillon 
Illustrator: Leo Dillon 

BOOK BLURB:
This simple book for young children has the added bonus of describing the life of a ground-breaking African-American tap dancer. Bill “Bojangles” Robinson was one of the most popular entertainers of the 1920s-30s. People said he “talked with his feet,” and in the Dillons’ graceful paintings of old New York, he dances from page to page to the tune of a toe-tapping rhyme. Rap a tap tap–think of that!


We Love Ballet

Title: We Love Ballet
Author: Jane Feldman

BOOK BLURB:
Grab your tutu – it’s time for ballet class! 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.


Tip-Tap Pop

Title: Tip-Tap Pop
Author: Sarah Lynn
Illustrator: Valeria Docampo

BOOK BLURB:
Emma and her grandpa, Pop, are tap-dancing pals. They dig-shuffle-chug through town and put on a c lickity-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? Clickity-clack, clickity-clack, stomp-stomp-clickity-clack. . . . Endearing illustrations rendered in gouache and pencils show that even the smallest act may spark a memory in an Alzheimer’s sufferer.


Ballet Star

Title: Ballet Star
Author: Nicola Baxter
Illustrator: Gill Cooper

BOOK BLURB:
A glittery picture storybook for younger children, about a little girl who dreams of dancing.


Firebird

Title: Firebird
Author: Misty Copeland
Illustrator: Christopher Myers

BOOK BLURB:
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.


Firebird

Title: Firebird
Author: Rachel Isadora

BOOK BLURB:
The story of the Firebird–inspired by Balanchine’s version of the classic ballet–follows Prince Ivan as he discovers the Firebird in an enchanted forest and, with the help of the magical half-bird, half-woman, rescues ten princesses from an evil sorcerer.


Nutcrackers and Pirates: A Boy’s Journey Into Dance

Title: Nutcrackers and Pirates: A Boy’s Journey Into Dance
Author: Charimain Zimmerman Brackett
Illustrator: Ashlee Henry

BOOK BLURB:
When 6 year-old Jeremy attends Nutcracker, he watches a male dancer pick up a ballerina and walk effortlessly around the stage with her lifted high above his head. Jeremy sees the athletic side of dance and decides he wants to be like the dancer he saw on stage.


Matilda in the Middle: A Bunny Ballet Story 

Title: Matilda in the Middle: A Bunny Ballet Story 
Author: Cori Doerrfeld 

BOOK BLURB:
Sometimes Matilda finds herself lost in the middle. But when her mother signs her up for bunny ballet, Matilda feels she has finally found a place to shine–if she can get her family to notice, that is.


I Want To Be A Ballerina

Title: I Want To Be A Ballerina
Author: Anna Membrino
Illustrator: Smiljana Coh

BOOK BLURB:
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.


This is It

Title: This is It
Author: Daria Peoples-Riley
Illustrator: Daria Peoples-Riley

BOOK BLURB:
When a young dancer is nervous about her upcoming auditions, her shadow springs to life and leads her on a joyous exploration of their city. Soon enough, the young girl finds confidence in her skills, her body, and her ability to shine.


Bottle Cap Boys On Royal Street

Title: Bottle Cap Boys On Royal Street
Author: Rita Williams-Garcia
Illustrator: Damian Ward

BOOK BLURB: Tap dancing on sidewalks, especially in the city’s French Quarter, is a New Orleans tradition as familiar to some as Jazz, Creole and Cajun food and Mardi Gras…..


Fancy Nancy: Budding Ballerina

Title: Fancy Nancy: Budding Ballerina
Author: Jane O’Connor
Illustrator: Robin Preiss Glasser 

BOOK BLURB:
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.


The Sleeping Beauty: New York City Ballet

Title: The Sleeping Beauty
Author: New York City Ballet
Illustrator: Valeria Docompo

BOOK BLURB:
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.


The Nutcraker: New York City Ballet

Title: The Nutcracker
Author: New York City Ballet
Illustrator: Valeria Docompo

BOOK BLURB:
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.


Swan Lake: New York City Ballet

Title: Swan Lake
Author: New York City Ballet
Illustrator: Valeria Docompo

BOOK BLURB:
In this stunning follow-up to the bestselling The Nutcracker and The Sleeping Beauty, the New York City Ballet presents another timeless tale for a modern ballet lover with Swan Lake


Jump

Title: Jumo
By: Jan Omerod and Michelle Magorian

BOOK BLURB:
Every Saturday Steven watches his sister at her ballet class – jumping and dancing – and he longs to join in. But his mother says that real boys don’t dance; they play games like basketball. However, there’s one skill that you need for both ballet and basketball – and, fortunately for Steven, it’s the thing that he loves doing best! Michelle Magorian says her inspiration for Jump! came from the comments people used to make about her eldest son when he was still in nappies, saying “I was surprised to hear people talking about all the “boyish” activities he would take part in when he was older and thought, ‘What if my son preferred dance to rugby?”‘


Ballerina Girl

Title: Ballerina Girl
Author: Kirsten Hall
Illustrator: Anne kennedy

BOOK BLURB:
My First Readers series is perfect for children who are learning to read. Easy-to-read text, a short-story format, and full-color artwork on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and fluency. In this book a little girl puts on different costumes and pretends she’s a ballerina performing for an audience


Dancing in the Wings

Title: Dancing in the Wings
Author: Debbie Allen
Illustrator: Kadir Nelson

BOOK BLURB:
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. Dancing in the Wings is loosely based on actress/choreographer Debbie Allen’s own experiences as a young dancer.


Tallulah’s Tutu

Title: Tallulah’s Tutu
Author: Marilyn Singer
Illustrator: Alexandre Boiger
(There are a series of other Tallulah books, I have put a picture and link to one other here as well.)

BOOK BLURB:
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. Her neighbor’s basset hound always stands in second position. The kitchen clock performs perfect ronds de jambe. And Tallulah can’t seem to stop doing ballet, either. A park bench makes a perfect barre, and what better way to pet the dog than with a graceful plié? This well-told, funny story with a smart new character will satisfy girls’ cravings for pretty and pink, but also shows that ballet is about more than just the tutu.


Feel The Beat

Title: Feel the Beat
Author: Marilyn Singer
Illustrator: Kristi Valiant

BOOK BLURB:
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!


Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp

Title: Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp
Author: Marilyn Singer
Illustrator: Alexandre Boiger

BOOK BLURB:
Have you ever wondered what the dinosaurs did for fun? What really happened when the Jurassic gang wanted to let off some steam? They danced, of course! They rocked and rolled, they twirled and tromped! They had themselves a Dinosaur Stomp! With illustrations by Scott Nash that leap off the page like a raptor doing the fandango, Carol Diggory Shields tells dinosaur devotees all about reptilian revelry in verses with a foot-tapping, tail-whacking beat.


Twelve Dancing Princesses

Title: Twelve Dancing Princesses
Author: Brigette Barrager

BOOK BLURB:
The talented Brigette Barrager lavishly illustrates this beautiful retelling of the Grimm Brothers’ “The Twelve Dancing Princesses.” In this fairy tale, twelve princesses wake up every morning to find their shoes are worn out and they are totally exhausted! A handsome suitor discovers that the princesses are enchanted, and that each night, in their sleep, they travel to a magical world to dance at a ball. Will this handsome suitor be able to break the spell and rescue the princesses?


The Brothers of the Knight

Title: The Brothers of the Knight
Author: Debbie Allen
Illustrator: Kadir Nelson

BOOK BLURB: Reverend Knight can’t understand why his twelve sons’ sneakers are torn to threads each and every morning, and the boys aren’t talking. They know their all-night dancing wouldn’t fit with their father’s image in the community. Maybe Sunday, a pretty new nanny with a knack for getting to the bottom of household mysteries, can crack the case. This modern, hip retelling of the classic tale The Twelve Dancing princesses bursts with vibrant artwork and text that’s as energetic as the twelve toe-tapping Knight brothers themselves. 


The Twelve Dancing Princesses

Title: The Twelve Dancing Princesses
Author: Rachel Isadora

BOOK BLURB: Night after night, the twelve princesses mysteriously wear out their shoes. But how? The king promises a great reward to any man who can solve the mystery. Rachel Isadora has revitalized and reimagined this well-loved Brothers Grimm fairytale by bringing the story of the twelve princesses to Africa. The unique presentation of this classic tale is sure to enchant readers with its vibrant imagery.


Let’s Dance

Title: Let’s Dance
Author: David Bowie
Illustrator: Hannah Marks

BOOK BLURB: “Let’s dance. Put on your red shoes and dance the blues…” Embrace the spirit and mood of iconic musician David Bowie in this must-have book for any Bowie fan, especially those wanting to introduce a new generation to a favorite musical artist. Lightly adapting the lyrics to “Let’s Dance” for a younger audience, kids and parents will soon be tapping their shoes to this lively book with bright, fun, whimsical artwork.


Dino-Dancing

Title: Dino-Dancing
Author: Lisa Wheeler
Illustrator: Barry Gott

BOOK BLURB: Describes the life, dancing, and choreography of Alvin Ailey, who created his own modern dance company to explore the Black experience


Jingle Dancer

Title: Jingle Dancer
Author: Cynthia Leitich Smith
Illustrator: Van Writght and Ying-Hwa Hu

BOOK BLURB: Jenna loves the tradition of jingle dancing that has been shared by generations of women in her family, and she hopes to dance at the next powwow. But she has a problem—how will her dress sing if it has no jingles?


Every Cowgirl Needs Dancing Boots

Title: Every Cowgirl Needs Dancing Boots
Author: Rebecca Janni
Illustrator: Lynne Avril

BOOK BLURB: Nellie Sue is back with brand-new dancing boots and her usual cowgirl flair. She knows that dancing would be more fun with friends, but her new neighbors, the Glitter Girls, would rather pirouette and twirl than hoedown. Nellie decides to throw a Barnyard Bash and invite the whole neighborhood. With her big imagination, Nellie transforms her garage into the perfect place to do-si-do. Soon everyone is joining in, but could a slip, a trip, and a slide cause her big bash to be a big messy flop?


Dance At Grandpa’s

Title: Dance At Grandpa’s
Author: Laura Ingalls Wilder
Illustrator: Renee Graef

BOOK BLURB: Laura, Pa, Ma, Mary, and baby Carrie are going to a party at Grandpa and Grandma’s house! There’s music, dancing, yummy food, and great company. It’s the best party Laura’s ever been to!


Bee Dance

Title: Bee Dance
Author: Rick Chrustowski

BOOK BLURB: A honeybee searches for nectar, then returns to the hive to tell the other bees. She does a waggle dance, moving in a special figure-eight pattern to share the location of the food source with her hive mates.


Kitchen Dance

Title: Kitchen Dance
Author: Maurie J. Manning

BOOK BLURB: 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…..


Lena’s Slippers

Title: Lena’s Slippers
Author: Ioana Hobai

BOOK BLURB: Lena can’t wait to twirl and leap onstage at her school dance recital, but her family does not have the money to pay for new ballet slippers. As the day of the recital draws closer, Lena struggles to come up with a creative solution to reach her shining moment on stage, learning along the way that what you do is more important than what you wear….


Maureen’s Irish Dance on the Stars

Title: Maureen’s Irish Dance on the Stars
Author: Melanie Eitelman

BOOK BLURB: It’s a beautiful summer’s day in Ireland and Maureen dreams of dancing to the piper’s tune.

Can a trip to the moon, via a rainbow and a whimsical umbrella, make Maureen’s dream come true?


I Hope You Dance

Title: I Hope You Dance!
Author: Mark D Sanders & Tia Sillers
Illustrator: Buddy Jackson & Karinne Caulkin

BOOK BLURB: The New York Times bestseller I Hope You Dance is a book of hope, encouragement, and inspiration. Now, the authors of the book and the song offer this wonderful and whimsical take on the “grown up” message of the book. I Hope You Dance for children is witty and fun, warm and fuzzy, wild and fanciful…..


Chasing Degas

Title: Chasing Degas
Author: Eva Montanari

BOOK BLURB: Monsieur Degas likes to paint the students while they practice in ballet class―they’ve inspired many of his beautiful paintings. But one day he mistakenly leaves his bag of paints in the dance studio and instead takes a young ballerina’s bag, which contains her new tutu for the evening’s recital! And so the ballerina begins a great chase to find Degas before her big night….


Degas and the Little Dancer

Title: Degas and the Little Dancer
Author: Laurence Anholt

BOOK BLURB: 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…


Josephine Baker

Title: Josephine Baker
Author: Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara
Illustrator:  Agathe Sorlet

BOOK BLURB: Meet Josephine Baker, the world-famous entertainer, activist, and French Resistance agent in this true story of her life! Part of the beloved Little People, BIG DREAMS series, this inspiring and informative little biography follows the incredible life of Josephine Baker, from growing up in St. Louis, Missouri, during segregation to defying expectations and performing on the stage in Paris, where audiences fell in love with her.


Emma and Julia Love Ballet

Title: Emma and Julia Love Ballet
Author: Barbara McClintock 

BOOK BLURB:
Emma is little. Julia is big.
They both love ballet. Emma takes ballet lessons. So does Julia. Emma is learning to be a ballerina. Julia is a professional ballerina….


Rudolf Nureyev (Little People, Big Dreams)

Title: Rudolf Nureyev (Little People, Big Dreams)
Author: Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara
Illustrator: Eleonra Arosio

BOOK BLURB:
Rudolf fell in love with dance as a child. But he was not allowed to go to ballet school until he was 17. There, he had to make up for lost time and hone his skills to compete with the other dancers. As a professional, he dazzled audiences with sensational performances and star power. He went on to become a world-renowned choreographer and master of perfection in dance.


Boys Dancing: From School Gym to Theater Stage

Title: Boys Dancing: From School Gym to Theater Stage
Author: George Ancona

BOOK BLURB: Can you emote like an angry pirate from Treasure Island — and even act out a fake swordfight? When four boys join their schools’ dance teams, that’s just one of the numbers being rehearsed for a performance directed by the National Dance Institute of New Mexico, inspired by favorite books such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Where the Wild Things Are, The Thousand and One Nights, and Oh, the Places You’ll Go! 


Ballerina Rosie

Title: Ballerina Rosie
Author: Sarah Ferguson The Duchess of York 
Illustrator: Diane Goode

BOOK BLURB:
More than anything, Rosie loves to dance and wants to be a prima ballerina. But when she enrolls in ballet school, she can’t seem to master the plié or balance her arabesque. Never mind the grand jeté! Is there any hope for Rosie’s big dreams?


The Cambodian Dancer: Sophany’s Gift of Hope

Title: The Cambodian Dancer: Sophany’s Gift of Hope
Author: Daryn Reicherter and Christy Hale 
Illustrator: Bophal Penh 

BOOK BLURB:
The Cambodian Dancer, a Cambodian book for children, is the true story of a Cambodian refugee — a dancer and teacher — who built a life in the U.S. after fleeing the Killing Fields of the Khmer Rouge. She then became a counselor to other Cambodian refugees and created a school of dance for children. Her gift of hope was to teach children in the Cambodian community the traditional dances of their country, so young people growing up far away from the land of their ancestors would know about Cambodian culture and customs.


Ready to Fly: How Sylvia Townsend Became the Bookmobile Ballerina

Title: Ready to Fly: How Sylvia Townsend Became the Bookmobile Ballerina
Author:  Lea Lyon and  Alexandria LaFaye
Illustrator:  Jessica Gibson 

BOOK BLURB:
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.


Harrison Dwight, Ballerina and Knight 

Title: Harrison Dwight, Ballerina and Knight 
Author:  Rachael MacFarlane 
Illustrator:  Spencer Laudiero 

BOOK BLURB:
Equal parts humor and heart, Harrison Dwight, Ballerina and Knight follows a young boy as he cycles through various feelings he experiences in every day life. Harrison feels happiness, sadness, pride, fear, joy, anger, and courage―all while playing and imagining without limitation! With Harrison Dwight, boys everywhere will feel empowered to play in whatever way they choose and learn that it’s always okay to express what you’re feeling inside!


Celestina the Astronaut Ballerina:

Title: Celestina the Astronaut Ballerina
Author:  Donald Jacobsen
Illustrator:  Graham Evans

BOOK BLURB:
Celestina is a bold and brilliant little girl that wants to shoot fot eh moon! But, she’s bullied by kids and adults for her daring dream…..


Gwendolyn, the Graceful Pig

Title: Gwendolyn, the Graceful Pig
Author:  David Ira Rottenberg 
Illustrator:  Lesley Anderson 

BOOK BLURB:
Gwendolyn, the Graceful Pig tells the tale of Gwendolyn and Omar two best friends who have big dreams. Gwendolyn longs to dance ballet, and Omar wants to join the football team. There is just one problem they re both pigs! How will Natasha Levertov, the greatest teacher of dance in ze vorld, help them make their dreams come true?


Trailblazer: The Story of Ballerina Raven Wilkinson

Title: Trailblazer: The Story of Ballerina Raven Wilkinson
Author:  Leda Schubert
Illustrator:  Theodore Taylor III 

BOOK BLURB:
This beautiful picture book tells the little-known story of Raven Wilkinson, the first African American woman to dance for a major classical ballet company and an inspiration to Misty Copeland.


Tiger in a Tutu

Title: Tiger in a Tutu
Author:  Fabi Santiago

BOOK BLURB:
Max isn’t like other tigers – he is a tiger with a dream! He longs to pirouette and plié, to leap and spin. He wants to be a dazzling ballet dancer, shining on the stage … and a very special friend might just help his dream come true.


For Boys Who Dance

Title: For Boys Who Dance
Author:  Jose Hollywood Ramos
Illustrator: Craig Cartwright

BOOK BLURB:
Gender biases and prejudices about “boys” who dance are not a new story, The inclusion and acceptance of boys who dance is often predicated on an argument that dance is not macho! This is a poem based book to inspire, uplift and encourage all young boys to dance no matter what!


Boy, Can He Dance!

Title: Boy, Can He Dance!
Author:  Eileen Spinelli
Illustrator: Paul Yalowitz

BOOK BLURB:
Boy, does Tony love to dance! And boy, would his father love for him to follow in the family footsteps and become a chef. Father and son appear to be on a collision course, but instead, they’re able to celebrate their differences — and the things they both love to do!


Frank Was a Monster Who Wanted to Dance

Title: Frank Was a Monster Who Wanted to Dance
Author:  Keith Graves 

BOOK BLURB:
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.


Song and Dance Man

Title: Song and Dance Man
Author: Karen Ackerman
Illustrator: Stephen Gammell

BOOK BLURB: “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…..


Drumheller Dinosaur Dance

Title: Drumheller Dinosaur Dance
Author: Robert Heidbreder 
Illustrator: Bill Slavin and Esperança Melo

BOOK BLURB: By daylight, the Drumheller dinosaurs rest their ancient bones. But when the moon rises, so do these slumbering skeletons — ready to tango, fandango, shimmy and shake! This exuberant read-aloud imagines what the dinosaur skeletons of world-famous Drumheller, Alberta, get up to when everyone’s asleep. Kids will want to thumpity-thump along with these dynamic dinos as they dance across the dark, dusty Badlands.


Boogie Monster

Title: Boogie Monster
Author: Josie Bissett  
Illustrator: Kevan Atteberry 

BOOK BLURB: Award-winning children’s author Josie Bissett has done it again. Her first book, Tickle Monster, became a national sensation by getting kids and their parents to laugh, laugh, laugh. Now comes Boogie Monster, a loveable character from Planet Boogie whose only mission is to inspire kids to dance, dance, dance.


Lili at Ballet

Title: Lili at Ballet
Author: Rachel Isadora

BOOK BLURB: Lili takes ballet lessons four times a week, going to class, working at the barre, and practicing for the year-end performance, in a study that illustrates different positions, clothing, dance steps, and famous roles from classical ballets.


Peg Leg Bates

Title: Peg Leg Bates
Author: Lynne Barasch

BOOK BLURB: Clayton Bates was born in rural South Carolina in 1907, and from the age of five he just loved to dance. When he was 12, Clayton lost his left leg in a factory accident, but his dancing spirit would not die. He started to dance again using crutches, then a peg leg. Within a short time his peg leg matched the dancing ability of his other leg.


Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with the Mexican Hat Dance

Title: Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with the Mexican Hat Dance
By: Alma F. Ada & F. Isabel Campoy

BOOK BLURB: As students prepare to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, they practice a Mexican dance and try their best not to step on the hat. Includes an informative section about Cinco de Mayo.


Dance and Ballet Books for 8-12 year olds

Hip Hop Speaks to Children: A Celebration of Poetry with a Beat

Title: Hip Hop Speaks to Children: A Celebration of Poetry with a Beat
Author: Edited by Niki Giovanni

BOOK BLURB: Poetry can have both a rhyme and a rhythm. Sometimes it is obvious; sometimes it is hidden. But either way, make no mistake, poetry is as vibrant and exciting as it gets. And when you find yourself clapping your hands or tapping your feet, you know you’ve found poetry with a beat!


The Barefoot Book of Ballet Stories

Title: The Barefoot Book of Ballet Stories
Author: Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple
Illustrator: Rebecca Guay

BOOK BLURB: 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. This beautiful anthology is the ideal way to introduce youngsters to one of the most intriguing and graceful forms of dance that exists today.


Where’s the Ballerina?: Find The Ballerinas Hidden in the Ballets

Title: Where’s the Ballerina?: Find The Ballerinas Hidden in the Ballets
Author: Anna Claybourne
Illustrator: Abigail Goh

BOOK BLURB: Can you spot the beautiful ballerina? Look carefully and you’ll find her hiding amongst the busy scenes form ten of the worlds best loved ballets…. Each ballet comes with a summary so that you can easily follow the dram and excitement of every story.


Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring

Title: Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring
Author: Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan
Illustrator: Brian Floca

BOOK BLURB: Award-winning authors Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan tell the story behind the scenes of the collaboration that created APPALACHIAN SPRING, from its inception through the score’s composition to Martha’s intense rehearsal process. The authors’ collaborator is two-time Sibert Honor winner Brian Floca, whose vivid watercolors bring both the process and the performance to life.


About the Author

Samantha Bellerose

Samantha is a wife and mother of four kids aged 1-9. She danced and acted from the age of 5 and performed in film clips, on television, and in musical theatre professionally. She also taught dance, but after leaving the profession to backpack through Europe, Canada and the USA with her husband for three years, she then completed an Education Degree and taught within primary schools in Australia. Today she is a business owner with her husband and the creator and writer for Dance Parent 101 where she hopes her previous experience as a dancer, current experience as a dance parent and the research and writing skills she gained completing her education degree will help enlighten parents on their journey with their child through the world of dance.