How to be a Real Ballerina

Publisher: Andersen Press

This fun-filled picture book is narrated by a delightful young girl, who shares her thoughts on how to become a real ballerina. She warns that cutting your own hair makes it much harder to put it in a bun, and advises against mistaking the barre for monkey bars, as this may result in spending time in the Thinking Corner. She reassures readers that the "boring bits" of ballet class, such as pretending to be a snowflake, or waving scarves around, won’t last forever, and explains that eventually you will learn different skills, including "third position", which makes you feel like a dancer on a music box. The highlight is an end-of-year concert where the dancers perform on stage, which is so exciting that it feels like there are Christmas lights in your tummy.

The relatable protagonist is cheeky and likable, displaying an authentic mix of impatience, joy and enthusiasm, typical of a young child. Colourful illustrations are full of humour and will help children to understand the subtext of adult exasperation caused by the girl’s amusing antics. This light-hearted, inclusive tale features a diverse cast of characters and will delight aspiring dancers, especially those who don’t quite conform.

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