Having two girls who are both currently taking ballet classes, we were delighted when we sat down to read The Ballerina’s Handbook from Templar Press (ages 4-8). The book begins with a fold-out letter from Flora Twinkletoes, whose journey through ballet we follow throughout the book. She encourages the reader of the book to “stand tall, hold your head high” and to “find the dancer in you.” Ideal for my almost seven-year old, The Ballerina’s Handbook is filled with letters, postcards, booklets and flaps that make it seem as though you’re reading Flora’s own personal scrapbook.
From advice on how to find a dance class, what to pack in your dance bag, how to decipher the positions and language of ballet, and how to present oneself to an audience, The Ballerina’s Handbook does not disappoint with its soft, watercolor-like pictures and fold-out surprises. We even read along as Flora shares mementos from ballet school, rehearses for a recital, and joins a ballet on tour. My girls especially loved the handy cards that tutor the reader in the five positions of ballet. They wasted no time practicing these moves themselves as they flitted around the living room, imagining themselves as graceful ballerinas.
As a mom, I especially liked that Flora also shares the history of ballet in snippets small enough for a young child to take in while also showing the reader the beauty, fun and excitement of dance. This is a must-read for the dancer (or the dreamer!) in your home!