Ballerina!

by Peter Sís

Peter Sís’s picture books for young children are often rooted firmly in... read more

Peter Sís’s picture books for young children are often rooted firmly in imagination — the author-artist clearly understands the seamless relationship between fantasy and reality for the young. Ballerina is no exception, but readers of this appealing book are likely to stretch their muscles as well as their minds. On the first page, they meet Terry, a young girl who loves ballet. A black-and-white line drawing shows Terry in her bedroom, where a large, empty mirror hangs on the wall. On each successive page, Terry uses a different outfit or prop to launch her body and mind into the world of dance. “She puts on her red leotard and dances a fire dance” is the text on one page featuring the simple line-drawing of Terry leaping in her leotard. On the facing page, the once-empty mirror shows an image of how Terry sees herself — a flamboyant, grown-up dancer soaring over flames in a fiery red outfit. Terry imagines herself dancing The Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty , Cinderella and Swan Lake , a tiger dance and a spring dance, in a book that mirrors the behavior of many young children and encourages both bodies and spirits to soar. (Ages 3–7)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2002

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