Miss Lina’s Ballerinas Series by Grace Maccarone

Full of rollicking verse and wispy pastel illustrations reminiscent of the beloved Madeline books, these sweet stories are a must-have for every ballerina’s library.  Miss Lina’s adventures teach gentle lessons on inclusion, persistence, and grace, and her small flock of dancers provide plenty of laughs.

Suitable for all ages.

Brontorina by James Howe

Brontorina, a giant orange dinosaur, simply does not belong in the ballet studio: she cracks the floor when she plies, punctures the ceiling when she jumps, and absolutely does not have the right shoes. But with the help of a few welcoming friends, brontorina begins to realize that maybe the dance room itself is just too small for dreams (and limbs) as big as hers.

Whimsical and goofy, this body-positive tale is sure to delight the 2-5 crowd, and will probably inspire some outdoor dance parties by its fun and silly conclusion.

Fancy Nancy and the Mermaid Ballet by Jane O’Connor

Daring drama queen Nancy is entirely certain she will be cast as a glamorous mermaid in her studio’s spring showcase- so when both she and best friend Bree are given utterly dull parts (an oyster and a tree- gasp!) they are despondent. But thanks to a little creative thinking, a lot of drama, and the wisdom of her mama, nancy learns to love her role (trees can be fancy too, you know).

Nancy’s devotion to all things fancy certainly extends to language- this adorable tale is full of delicious vocabulary not often found in contemporary picture books. Best for ages 4-7.   

Ella Bella Ballerina Series by James Mayhew

By the power of a magical music box, young Ella Bella is swept away into the narratives of classic ballets in this smart and charming series. More sophisticated than most picture books, these lovely explorations of swan lake, the nutcracker, sleeping beauty, and cinderella are best for readers ages 5-8.  

 -Mack Oliver, Design Dance Instructor