Little ballerinas have big dreams. Dreams of pirouettes and grande jetes, dreams of attending the best ballet schools and of dancing starring roles on stage. But in Harlem in the 1950s, dreams don t always come true they take a lot of work and a lot of hope. Read more...
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Little ballerinas have big dreams. Dreams of pirouettes and grande jetes, dreams of attending the best ballet schools and of dancing starring roles on stage. But in Harlem in the 1950s, dreams don t always come true they take a lot of work and a lot of hope. And sometimes hope is hard to come by.
But the first African-American prima ballerina, Janet Collins, did make her dreams come true. And those dreams inspired ballerinas everywhere, showing them that the color of their skin couldn t stop them from becoming a star.
In a lyrical tale as beautiful as a dance en pointe, Kristy Dempsey and Floyd Cooper tell the story of one little ballerina who was inspired by Janet Collins to make her own dreams come true."
- ISBN-13: 9780399252846
- ISBN-10: 0399252843
- Publisher: Philomel Books
- Publish Date: January 2014
- Page Count: 32
- Reading Level: Ages 5-8
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-11-04
- Reviewer: Staff
Growing up in 1950s Harlem, a girl dreams of being a ballerina, despite the huge obstacles of segregation and poverty. She’s urged on by her hardworking mother, mentored by the Ballet Master (who allows her “to join lessons each day/ from the back of the room,/ even though I can’t perform/ onstage with white girls”), and inspired by Janet Collins, the “first colored prima ballerina,” who makes her debut at Metropolitan Opera while the girl sits in the balcony with her mother. “It’s like Miss Collins is dancing for me,/ only for me,” she thinks as she imagines herself leaping through the air alongside the beautiful, supremely confident Collins, “showing me who I can be.” Although Dempsey’s (Surfer Chick) prose-poem tends to be somber and sentimental, Cooper’s (Max and the Tag-Along Moon) velvety, peach-hued pictures have passion, energy, and even flashes of humor, making the girl feel like a fully lived character. The story covers familiar inspirational territory, but has the benefit of serving as a brief introduction to the pioneering Collins. Ages 5–8. Author’s agent: Kendra Marcus, BookStop Literary Agency. (Jan.)