My twin girls, 8, have danced ballet for a few years now and I’m always looking for ways to inspire their dancing. This book is a fantastic introduction to 10 of the world’s best-loved ballets. Each ballet is featured over two double-page spreads and I really like the way the information is presented in segments, with loads of pictures, making this a book very young ballerinas can enjoy and grow up with.
Each ballet is introduced with a short summary, followed by a more detailed, illustrated explanation of the story for older (primary school and up) readers to delve into. Each of the main characters are introduced by name and with an illustration and an invitation to find them in the double-page spread over the page. Younger readers may prefer just to search for the ballerina and the peacock that are hidden on every page. This is great fun for all ages – I can’t resist having a go too. One of my girls particularly is a huge fan of this style of book and she pored over Where’s the Ballerina? for hours.
The ballets featured are: Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Giselle, The Nutcracker, La Bayadere, Coppelia, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote and Cinderella.
The illustrations are colourful, with each taking on the flavour of the featured ballet. The Sleeping Beauty picture is my favourite, with roses climbing over the castle walls and twirling dancers everywhere. There are rows of dancers on the endpapers too, and the cover features gold foil highlights, because most dancers appreciate a bit of sparkle, right? This is a fun and informative book for dancers or those who just like ballet and would make a lovely gift for a young ballerina after exams, at concert time or before seeing a live performance.
Where’s the Ballerina? Find the hidden ballerina in the ballets is written by Anna Claybourne and illustrated by Abigail Goh. It is published by Quarto Group UK, January 2017, RRP $19.99 (hbk).