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Ballerina Dreams: A True Storyby Lauren Thompson
Synopses & Reviews
Once upon a time there were five little girls who shared a dream. They wanted to be ballerinas and dance on stage like their sisters and cousins and friends.
But it would be hard for these girls to make their dream come true. They had cerebral palsy or other physical disabilities, which meant their muscles didnt move the way they wanted them to. Some wore leg braces. Some used wheelchairs and walkers to get around. But these girls were determined. They had a dedicated teacher. Every week they practiced. They worked hard. And one day they were ready.
Ballerina Dreams is an inspiring true story of love, hope and courage for everyone and anyone who has ever wished (and worked) hard enough to make their dreams come true.
Ballerina Dreams is the winner of the 2008 Bank Street - Flora Stieglitz Award.
"Inspired by a 2006 New York Times article,this poignant photo-essay taps Thompson's (Polar Bear Night) storytelling talent and Times photographer Estrin's behind-camera skill to chronicle a ballet recital given by five unlikely young dancers. The performers, ranging in age from three to seven, all have various disorders such as cerebral palsy; for them, raising their arms, holding themselves upright and maintaining their balance can be feats requiring very hard work. Thompson frames their story as one of a dream come true (the performance incorporated 'When you wish upon a star...' to make the same point), and in describing the girls' work with their teacher, New York City physical therapist Joann Ferrara, the author stresses what these girls might have in common with the audience — their excitement, their delight in their tutus and tiaras, their last-minute jitters, their unmistakable pleasure in dancing. With similar effect, close-up portraits introduce the five girls, all shown beaming, before readers see full-body shots revealing their leg braces and the teen helpers who support the dancers onstage. An especially attractive design breaks each spreads into blocks of text, solid pink panels, and group and individual photos. The insightful presentation encourages readers not only to identify with the dancers, but to draw inspiration from them as well. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Ferrara's Dancing Dreams program. Ages 5-8." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The inspiring story of five little girls whose ballerina dreams come true with the help of their dedicated teacher.
First profiled in the "New York Times," the five little girls from Queens in this book shared a dream to become ballerinas. But these girls had cerebral palsy or other physical disabilities. Despite their limitations, they practiced and worked hard. Their inspiring true story is brought to life in this picture book. Full color.
About the Author
Lauren Thompson loved ballet class when she was a child, although she never got the chance to participate in a ballet recital. In creating Ballerina Dreams, she drew inspiration from her own memories as well as from conversations with the girls, their parents, and their teacher, Joann Ferrara. Ms. Thompson worked as a childrens book editor for eighteen years before becoming a full-time writer. Her many picture books include Polar Bear Night, which was a New York Times bestseller, and the Mouses First and Little Quack series, and most recently, The Apple Pie That Papa Baked. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and son.
James Estrin is a senior staff photographer for the New York Times and was part of a New York Times Pulitzer prize-winning team. His work has appeared in dozens of books, including A Nation Challenged, Portraits of Grief, The Century in Times Square, and Jews in America, and in thousands of newspapers and magazines throughout the world. He lives in Scarsdale, New York, with his wife, the writer Randy Banner, and their two children, Elizabeth and Marshall.
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Children's » Activities » Dance