I Want To Be a Ballerina by Anna Membrino
I WANT TO BE A BALLERINA--JUST LIKE MY SISTER.
Mia's got a case of sibling rivalry--and a touch of tutu lust, too. Like a lot of little would-be ballerinas, it's the couture as much as the art that gives her a yen to dance.
She's got the tights, the leotard, the soft ballet shoes, and, of course, the tutu. But, as her big sister reminds her, the clothes don't make the ballerina. She needs balance.
BUT MIA," MY SISTER SAYS, "YOU TRIP ON THE STAIRS."
And then Sis goes on to enumerate the qualities that Mia also lacks--co-ordination and graceful moves, for starters. But the spunky Mia comes right back at her with the right attitude.
"I JUST NEED PRACTICE!"
Sis relents and takes Mia to observe her ballet class, and Mia tries to follow along from the sidelines. It's hard, Mia agrees, even if her tutu is as fluffy as anyone's. But she still believes that practice makes perfect and she won't quit until she can be a ballerina, too. And her sister is convinced that she has the right stuff.
"NOW WE CAN PRACTICE TOGETHER!"
It takes more than the tutu, as young ballerinas soon discover, in Anna Membrino's I Want to be a Ballerina (Random House, 2014). Preschool prima ballerina wannabes will giggle at Mia as she tries to improve her grace, trying not to clomp in Mom's high heels, and her sense of balance by stacking blocks and building a pyramid of cards, while absorbing the warning that dance requires discipline as well. Artist Smiljana Coh's bobble-head ballerinas, both boys and girls, keep the mood light as Mia tries to make all the right moves. Pair this one with Marilyn Singer's delightful Tallulah's Tutu and sequels (see reviews here).