Ballet Kids

Ballet Kids cover
Ballet Kids by Holly Sterling

By Holly Sterling
Candlewick, 2022
32 pages

Ages 3-6

Thomas loves ballet. On this cold winter day, Thomas, who is Black, and five other preschoolers arrive for Mr. Elliot’s class. “We hang up our coats, hats and woolly scarves. Then we wiggle and slide into our ballet shoes.” They stretch, practice ballet positions, and improvise with great enthusiasm under Mr. Elliot’s guidance before choosing outfits for their upcoming show, The Nutcracker. “Some of the costumes are silky, some are soft, and some shimmer under the light … I pick out something as purple as a plum, covered in sparkly sequins … I am the Sugar Plum Fairy…” Thomas is nervous about performing, but Mr. Elliot assures him that if he listens and moves with the music, “the magic will come from within.” And it does! The beguiling first-person narrative with its terrific word choice conveys both dance-related details, including a few basic French dance terms, and Thomas’s love for dance, while the soft-edged, digitally colored pencil illustrations are as friendly and welcoming as Mr. Elliot’s class and his diverse students.  ©2022 Cooperative Children’s Book Center