34 Graceful Children's Books About Ballerinas

miss lina's ballerinas

A beautiful story about eight little dancers who are perfectly in sync. Their formation is second nature- four rows of two- as they dance wherever they are going and whatever they are doing (even during homework!). When a new ballerina joins their group, their world is turned upside down. They lose their fluid synchronization until they discover a brand new formation that works. A rhyming  book with delicate drawings of talented little dancers.




Kids' Ballet Books Inspire Tiny Dancers

Little cherubs in tutus, sometimes barely out of diapers and just learning to walk, are some of the cutest dancers around. For the kids who develop  a passion for dance after that very first ballet class, we can only hope that they may one day develop poise, grace and discipline. Children's books about ballerinas, which tell a variety of stories and experiences from the perspective of the dancers, are wonderful gifts when paired with the cutest ballerina plush dolls. Some stories are perfect for little tots just starting on their journey. Other ballet books give readers insight into the hard work, challenges, failures and successes of dancers who have been working on their craft for years. Just like in stories about gymnastics, there are humorous accounts of budding ballerinas trying to find their balance, and more complex stories of dancers overcoming physical, social, and emotional obstacles. The one common theme in all of these stories is the passion to become a graceful dancer. 


angelina's ballerina

A beautiful and intricately illustrated book about a mouse who is consumed with becoming a ballerina. In fact, Angelina can't seem to focus on anything other than dancing. When this fixation gets in the way of doing other things (like homework or joining her family for dinner), her parents need to come up with a creative solution. A delightful story that will seem familiar to anyone with a child who dances through life.




i'm a ballerina

The first dance recital is right around the corner. A little girl is excited for her first performance, but there is still a lot to learn. She leads readers into her dance class to get a look at all the work and practice taking place.  Ballerinas will appreciate this child's nervous excitement as she prepares for the big day. 




tallchief america's prima ballerina

The remarkable story of Maria Tallchief, a gifted dancer who left an Indian reservation for New York, is a must-read for all children who have a dream. As a little girl, Maria excelled at both playing the piano and ballet, although dancing was prohibited on the Osage Indian reservation. With the support of her parents, she continued to practice and then eventually became a prima ballerina.




ready to fly 

An inspiring, non-fiction book about a little girl who dares to dream big. Sylvia Townsend discovered her passion for ballet in the 1950s when she was just seven years old. Unfortunately, at that time there were no ballet schools willing to open their doors to a black girl. Refusing to let discrimination get in her way, Sylvia finds a way to dance. With the help of a local librarian, this bright, ambitious girl discovers a title through the Bookmobile program, and soon she is on her way to perfecting her skills.




 A notable and best-selling book by Misty Copeland, a prima ballerina, based on her experiences as a young dancer. A little girl joins her very first dance class and decides to audition for the lead role in an upcoming production- Coppélia. Misty is a bundle of nerves and experiences self-doubt, but with the support of the other bunheads, she rises to the top. A beautiful story of friendship, courage and success!



brave ballerina the story of janet collins

A remarkable story of perseverance against all odds. This historical biography is about Janet Collins, the first African American prima ballerina in the Metropolitan Opera. This non-fiction ballet story is set during the 1930s and 40s when segregation was rampant. Janet was a talented dancer, but was turned away from ballet schools because of her skin color. She finally found a place that would accept her as a student, but only on the condition that she whiten her skin. She refused. Readers who love ballet will enjoy this story, but the message has historical significance that extends beyond dancing.



the cranky ballerina

Kids who are coaxed into participating in an activity will relate to Ada's angst. She absolutely dreads going to ballet class. One day the plucky little ballerina dances right out the door and down a path of self-discovery. Charming pictures capture the mood of a tiny twirler who would rather be doing just about anything else.  


fancy nancy budding ballerina 

Nancy loves all things fancy, so ballet is just her cup of tea. Not only can she dress up in fancy tutus, but this form of dance is described with the fanciest words- plié, pirouette, and jeté to name a few. This spunky girl is so excited by what she learned at dance class that she decides to hold a private lesson for her entire family. A frilly book for kids who are Fancy Nancy fans.


dancing in the wings

Debbie Allen penned this children's book based on her experience as a young dancer. Sassy has a big mouth that often gets her the wrong kind of attention. She also has big dreams of becoming a beautiful ballerina. Legs that are too long and feet that are too big may get in the way. But when a famous director stops by to observe her ballet class, Sassy shows off her skills and is hopeful that she can prove to him that she has what it takes.  



pearl goes to preschool 

Pearl is a darling preschooler who loves to attend classes at her mother's ballet school. She is not intimated by the older, bigger dancers and has mastered all of the poses. But when the time comes for her to attend preschool without her mother, Pearl is feeling nervous. Her mother provides loving reassurance in this book about a little girl's separation anxiety. 




vamperina ballerina

Ballet is difficult to learn under the best of circumstances. For vampires like Vampirina, it is nearly impossible. Dance schools all operate during the daytime. Mirrors are crucial for self-evaluation, but Vampirina's reflection does not appear. And then don't get started on the color pink, which most unflattering for vampires, even the ones who love ballet. Kids who are up for a spooky book will enjoy this unique portrayal of a vampire who just wants to dance. 




fancy nancy and the mermaid ballet

Fancy Nancy and her best friend, Bree, are super excited about the upcoming production of a mermaid ballet. Nancy is vying for the lead, but another dancer wins the role of the mermaid. When she learns that she is cast as a tree, Fancy Nancy wonders how she can add something special to an otherwise boring role. A darling picture book with a very valuable lesson.


welcome to ballet school

 Written by a professional, this book is more like a tutorial for children who are just getting started. This school teaches readers about all the positions and terminology. It also provides great pointers for how to handle falls, how to get ready for class, and how to keep your body health and strong. This book is inclusive by showing kids of every ethnicity participating in class. A glossary in the back contains definitions of every term your child will ever need to know.



 angelina ballerina center stage

Angelina is accustomed to having lead roles in all of her ballet performances. This time she is asked to step up as choreographer since Miss Lilly injured her ankle. Is Angelina up for the task? Children will learn a lot from Angelina's can-do attitude and willingness to step into a new role. The show must go on! A bonus page of stickers adds a touch of extra fun.


zuri ray tries ballet

A loyal friend with a passion for trying new things, Zuri Ray is faced with a new challenge. Her best friend, Jessie, wants her to come along to camp. The idea of fastening her hair into a tight bun and wearing fancy tutus does not appeal to her at all. Since she doesn't want to disappoint her friend, Zuri decides that maybe she can just dance in her own spunky way.




tallulah's tutu

More than anything in the world, Tallulah loves ballet. But when she signs up for her class, she is disappointed to learn that the teach is not handing out tutus. This is a huge letdown, so she quits! As much as she tries to forget all about ballet, Tallulah sees signs wherever she goes. Inanimate objects, like park benches (a barre!) and clocks (ronds de jambe), remind her of dance. She also thinks her pet hound stands in a perfect second position. Is the universe trying to tell her something? An entertaining book about ballet that has universal appeal for children who need a lesson on not always getting what they want.




i love ballet

Noelle isn't shy about expressing her love for dance.  She twirls wherever she goes and looks forward to her class every week. When her teacher, Miss Maya, talks to the girls about their very first dance recital, Noelle is overcome with excitement! A lyrical tribute to little ballerinas just getting started on their dancing journey.




ballet lesson

Peppa Pig's endearing, although somewhat bossy, personality shines in this fun story. Peppa is thrilled with the progress she makes on her very first day. When she decides to give her parents a lesson of their own, Peppa learns that they are not too shabby themselves. Peppa Pig fans will love the colorful poster that is included.


boys dance 

An affirming book for all children, but especially for boys who love to dance. Written in rhyme, this picture book celebrates boys from every ethnicity as they pirouette, jeté, and plié across the pages. The message focuses on the strength, hard work, and intelligence required to be successful. As an added bonus, photos and interviews with male dancers are included in the back.




b is for ballet a dance alphabet

A stunning  picture book for children as well as adults. Dance positions are illustrated by graceful ballerinas against gorgeously landscaped backgrounds. Every letter of the alphabet is associated with terms, famous dancers, masterpiece productions, and other related topics. This picture book is truly a work of art that could be prominently displayed in a dancer's bedroom.



you're tutu cute

A charming little lift-the flap book featuring a teddy bear. Every single page reminds little readers that they are "tutu cute" and encourages them to dance for joy. Perfect reminder for little ones that they are loved.


i love my tutu too 

An utterly silly, enjoyable book for preschoolers who love their tutus. A rhyming story features super cute animals joining in an epic dance party. If your toddler doesn't yet own a tutu, be prepared to buy one after reading this board book.


we love ballet 

 This may be just the perfect book to buy a young child in preparation for their very first dance class. Vibrant photographs fill the pages, along with introductions to the poses and terms. This adorable book is just right for preschoolers who will enjoy examining all the pictures of kids dressed up in frilly tutus.



ballet bunnies the new class

 A darling, colorfully illustrated easy chapter book for kids who love to dance!  Millie has just signed up for her first class at Miss Luisa's School of Dance. Her excitement quickly fades when she finds that she can't even master the very first pose. Millie's confidence takes a further hit when the mean girl, Amber, is not exactly welcoming. After class one day, Millie is thrilled to discover ballerina bunnies, for her eyes only, flitting across the dance floor. With their support and tutelage, maybe there is hope for Millie after all!



never let a unicorn wear a tutu 

 This whimsical story will fuel the imagination of children who love to play dress-up. A little girl was given some sage advice (never let a unicorn wear a tutu!) that she does not follow. What happens next is an exciting, magical adventure involving a lot of twirling, leaping, and an exciting chase. Brimming with twinkly cupcakes and shimmering tutus, this adorable book will entertain every kid who loves to dance.



ballerina coloring book

Grab a box of crayons and bring these adorable pictures of ballerinas to life!  The whimsical drawings capture all the beauty of little dancers. Kids will love adding their own colorful touch and decorating their walls with their creations. Pair this book with a brand new tutu for the perfect first dance recital gift.



ballet ultimate sticker book

 More than 15 pages of stickers will keep your little dancer entertained for hours. The realistic images include glittery costumes, dancers in all the positions and performing graceful leaps in perfect form.  Kids who love to create will enjoy including these stickers in their own pictures and crafts.


grand jete and me

A grandmother, who was once a prima ballerina, takes her granddaughter to see The Nutcracker. The two twirl their way through New York City and enjoy watching the graceful dancers in their beautiful costumes. Throughout the day, the grandmother dispenses her wisdom about poise, etiquette and grace to the little girl who soaks in every detail. A magical book written by a former ballerina, Allegra Kent, and illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser, best known for her Fancy Nancy book series.




An inspiring book about a heroine who refuses to let her size get in the way of her dreams. Brontorina may not have the talent or the petite, slender physique. But she does have boundless charm, energy and determination to help her achieve her goals. This darling story, simple enough for a preschooler to understand, offers a positive, affirming message for kids to pursue their passion no matter what obstacles they need to overcome.


the only boy in ballet class

Tucker refuses to let anyone stand in his way. Ballet is his passion, and no one will spoil it for him. Even though the football players, his sisters, and even his Uncle Frank tease him for dancing, Tucker doesn't let it get to him. Then one day Tucker has a chance to join a football game where everyone witnesses his skills on the field. A good book for boys who like dance or any child who needs a lesson on self-acceptance.


flora and the flamingo

A Caldecott Honor book about an unlikely friendship that develops between a little girl and a flamingo. This wordless picture book has interactive flaps to keep young children engaged in the story. The two characters engage in a series of moves that progress from clumsy to graceful by the end of the story. A beautiful representation of an evolving friendship through dance.


the crab ballet

An exquisite book that balances the beauty and rhythm of the sea with ballet as never seen before. As each wave retreats into the ocean, seahorses, crabs, and other aquatic creatures put on a magical show for all of those sitting in "the driftwood chairs". Watercolor illustrations in pastel tones capture the dreamlike performances of the seafaring dancers. French terms are woven throughout the graceful, poetic text in this highly unusual, captivating book. 




miss juju and her tutu

Bouncy, delicate rhymes fill the pages of this darling book about a ballerina who loves to dance. Miss Juju twirls through the door into her class where she joins her friends. Together they learn all the positions and practice their form. The airy illustrations portray rooms bathed in sunlight, creating an almost ethereal quality. Minimal text paired with enchanting pictures of little dancers will keep the attention of little readers.


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Ballerina Picture Books Share Valuable Lessons

Each of these children's ballet books gives kids a snapshot of what life is like for dancers. Whether we are watching a professional production of Swan Lake or a young child's very first dance recital, it is hard to appreciate the hours of practice and planning that went into the production. These stories highlight all of the hard work, the mishaps, the injuries, and the high-flying successes of dancers young and old. Reading about their journeys will teach kids fascinating ballet facts and  values that they can apply to other areas in their lives- from the dance floor to the classroom and to wherever else their own paths take them.  


 More Inspiring Picture Books About the Arts  

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Musical Piano Tales

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