The Center for Children's Books


Graduate School of Library and Information Science
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Dance, Dance, Dance - October 2008

Selected and annotated by Kelley Anne Johnson


Picture Books

Durango, Julia. Cha-Cha Chimps; illus. by Eleanor Taylor. Simon, 2006 (32p.) 4-7yrs.
Ten little chimps go out dancing with all the other animals at Mambo Jamba’s until Mama Chimp gets involved in this exciting read-aloud story.

Helldorfer, M.C.Got to Dance; illus. by Kiroe Nakata. Doubleday, 2004 (32p.) 3-6yrs.
With her mother off to work and older brother off to camp our young protagonist is bored and suffering from the “summertime blues”. But, things look up when she spends the day dancing all around the city with her grandpa.

Maybarduk, Linda. James the Dancing Dog; illus. by Gillian Johnson. Tundra, 2004 (24p.) 6-9yrs.
Poor James! Ever since he was a puppy he has been helping out with his mom and dad at the ballet and has yearned to dance on stage. When the chance for him to finally become a real dancing dog is dashed, what will James do?

Michelson, Richard. Happy Feet: The Savoy Ballroom Lindy Hoppers and Me; illus. by E.B.Lewis. Gulliver/Harcourt, 2005 (32p.) 6-9yrs.
This jazzy story of how the young narrator was born on the very same night the famous Savoy Ballroom opened its doors is complete with energetic watercolors and historical references for readers young and old who want to explore more about the 1920’s and 1930’s Harlem dance scene.

Schaefer, Carole Lexa. Full Moon Barnyard Dance; illus. by Christine Davenier. Candlewick, 2003 (32p.) 3-5yrs.
One night, with a big full moon, the farm animals just could not settle down. So off they go to dance the night away with this rhythmic text.

Stadler, Alexander. Lila Bloom; illus. by Alexander Stadler. Foster/Farrar, 2004 (34p.) 6-9yrs.
Lila is not in a good mood, and decides that she no longer wants to go to ballet class. In this boldly illustrated picture book, readers explore how a simple joy may be enough to bring someone out of a bad mood.

Weeks, Sarah. Ella, Of Course!; illus. by Doug Cushman. Harcourt, 2007 (32p.) 4-6yrs.
Ella is a problem solving pig until she got an umbrella for her birthday and started bringing it with her everywhere. All of a sudden Ella was causing more problems than she solved and when her umbrella disrupts dance class it is banned from the recital.

Young, Amy. Belinda the Ballerina; illus. by Amy Young. Viking, 2003 (32p.) 5-8yrs.
Meet Belinda. She loves too dance, but her feet are so big they scare away the judges at her big audition. Despondent, Belinda stops dancing and gets a job as a waitress. Until one day when Belinda’s dream of being a ballerina may just come true.

Young, Amy. Belinda and the Glass Slipper; illus. by Amy Young. Viking, 2006 (32p.) 6-9yrs.
Belinda’s back and staring as Cinderella. Yet, trouble befalls large footed Belinda when jealous Lola gets involved! Readers of the original Belinda saga will love this sequel as they read and wonder, who will the shoe fit?

Fiction Books

Cirrone, Dorian. Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill You. HarperCollins, 2005 (224p.) Gr. 7-10.
Drama erupts throughout an arts high school when Kayla doesn’t receive the lead in the ballet because of her “generous assets”. Meanwhile, mysterious threats cause fear and pandemonium throughout the dance department in this ballerina coming-of-age tale.

Conway, Celeste. The Melting Season. Delacorte, 2006 (273p.) Gr. 7-12.
Giselle is still dealing with the death of her father, and the overwhelming shadow of her mother. In the midst of it all, dancer Giselle finds her first romance and all the complications that entails.

Dalecki, Linden. Kid B. Graphia/Houghton, 2006 (246p.) Gr. 7-10
Breslin’s life is not working out so great. But, his break dancing alterego Kid B may actually be able to follow his dreams to make it in the world of competitive break dancing.

Fletcher, Christine. Ten Cents a Dance. Bloomsbury, 2008 (356p.) Gr. 9-12.
Sixteen-year-old Ruby had to drop out of school and go to work at a packinghouse to support her family in 1940's Chicago. But, then an opportunity comes along that sounds too good to be true; working as a taxi-dancer. Soon, Ruby begins leading a double life and involuntarily learning about the seedy side of business.

Golds, Cassandra. Claire-de-Lune. Knopf, 2006 (197p.) Gr. 4-7.
Silent and sad, Claire-de-Lune must concentrate all her efforts on dance. Until she makes friends with talking mouse, and a kind monk who help her to find her voice.

Meyer, Carolyn. Marie, Dancing. Gulliver/Harcourt, 2005 (255p.) Gr. 6-9.
Set in 19 th century France this book is well crafted fictionalized account of how impoverished dancer Marie became the inspiration for Edgar Degas’ famous statue “The Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen”.

Non-Fiction Books

Barasch, Lynne. Knockin’ on Wood; illus. by Lynne Barasch. Lee & Low, 2004 (32p.) Gr. 2-4
Clayton Bates loved to dance, and never lost his determination even after a horrible accident where he lost a leg. Instead, with the aid of a peg leg made by his uncle, Clayton went on to tap dance around the world.

Kimmel, Eric. The 3 Cabritos; illus. by Stephan Gilpin. Cavendish, 2007 (32p.) 6-9yrs.
On their way to a fiesta in Mexico, the Three Cabritos come across the terrible Chupacabra. One by one they must use the power of dance to save their lives.

Li, Cuxin. Dancing to Freedom: The True Story of Mao’s Last Dancer; illus. by Anne Spudvilas. Walker, 2008 (40p.) 5-8yrs.
In this beautifully illustrated biography, Li is taken from his family at age eleven to study at the Beijing Dance Academy. Despite his hardships, Li grew into a wonderful dancer who was finally able to achieve his dreams.

Miller, Norma. Govenar, Alan. Stompin’ at the Savoy: The Story of Norma Miller; illus. by Martin French. Candlewick, 2006 (64p.) Gr. 4-8.
In her own words readers discover the life and dance career of Norma Miller. This is a nice addition to Richard Michelson’s Happy Feet: The Savoy Ballroom Lindy Hoppers and Me and readers anxious to learn about the Harlem Renaissance will love this engaging tale.

Nathan, Amy. Meet the Dancers: From Ballet, Broadway, and Beyond. Holt, 2008 (256p.) Gr. 4-8.
This book chronicles sixteen dancers from their childhood experiences all the way to their current dance careers. Appealing black and white photographs and a glossary are included.

Orgill, Roxanne. Footwork: The Story of Fred and Adele Astaire; illus, by Stéphanie Jorisch. Candlewick, 2007 (41p.) Gr. 3-6.
A young Fred Astaire and his lesser known sister Adele do all they can to make it in the dance world. The story of these young Vaudville regulars is accompanied by compelling watercolors.

Reich, Susanna. José!: Born to Dance: The Story of José Limón; illus. by Raúl Colón. Wiseman/Simon, 2005 (32p.) 7-10yrs.
This biography follows the journey of José Limón the pioneering modern dancer and choreographer from his birth in Mexico to his ascension into the world of dance. Accompanied by engaging and textured illustrations this book is sure to show how the sights and sounds of ones childhood can influence their later artistic endeavors.

Quattlebaum, Mary. Sparks Fly High: The Legend of Dancing Point; illus. by Leonid Gore. Kroupa/Farrar, 2006 (40p.) Gr. 3-5.
Colonel Lightfoot was very proud of his dancing and even more proud of his colonial Virginia land. That is until he finds the devil dancing his land into a bog. A dancing challenge thus ensues to create this lively folk tale.

Schubert, Leda. Ballet of the Elephants; illus. by Robert Andrew Parker. Brodie/Roaring Brook, 2006(32p.) Gr. 2-4.
With beautifully realized watercolors, this offbeat tale of how the choreography of George Balanchine, music of Igor Stravinsky, and elephants of John Ringling North, all came together to form a ballet of elephants will be sure to excite both lovers of animals and of dance.

Siegel, Siena Cherson. To Dance: A Ballerina’s Graphic Novel; illus. by Mark Siegel. Jackson/Athenaeum, 2006 (60p.) Gr. 4-8.
Finally! What everyone always wanted. A graphic novel devoted entirely to ballet. Siena Siegel’s memoir depicts a honesty about the wishes and dreams of young ballerina’s everywhere. Complete with compelling graphic illustrations.

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