Thursday, November 30, 2017

Ballerina dreams by Michaela Elaine DePrince pictures by Ella Okstad

I am on the hunt for easy to read beginning chapter books WITH a worthwhile/good/engaging story.  I have found one here.  This little book ticks quite a  few boxes

  • Ballerina Dreams is a true story (read more at the back of the book)
  • Ballerina Dreams is about ballet which is a popular subject with young students
  • Ballerina Dreams is very easy to read but does not use simplified language
  • Ballerina Dreams has perfect and colourful illustrations
  • Ballerina Dreams contains real emotions

Michaela lives in Sierra Leone. Blowing in the wind one day she finds a magazine picture of a beautiful ballerina :

"She wore a short pink dress that stuck out around her in a circle. She had pink shoes on her feet and stood on the tips of her toes. She looked very happy."

Michaela now dreams of ballet. But she lives in an orphanage in one of the poorest countries in the world and worse she has a skin condition called vitiligo which means she has white marks on her brown skin.  The wonderful thing is the way none of these things matter.  Michaela is adopted by Elaine DePrince in America.  She attends ballet classes and through hard work and determination achieves success at the highest level.  You can read more about this here.  Adult ballet fans might also enjoy the book Hope in a Ballet Shoe.  My friend at Kinderbookboard has a good selection of other ballet stories for you children to enjoy.

At its heart is the core message that hard work and determination are the keys to making any dream come true.   Kirkus

Ballerina Dreams is a wonderfully uplifting story about what must have been a truly difficult upbringing. Yet, it is told in such a gentle manner that always leaves room for hope and understanding.   Read and Seek

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