Books of note (new and not)
Flora and the Peacocks
By Molly Idle
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Ages 3–6; 40 pages; hardcover; 2016
The darling, dancing Flora (Flora and the Flamingo and Flora and the Penguins) is back. This time she’s found two new friends: a pair of peacocks. But amid the fanning feathers and mirrored movements, Flora discovers that the push and pull between three friends can be a delicate dance. Will this trio find a way to get back in step? Idle’s wordless art combines with fold-out flaps to reveal that true friends will always find a way to dance, leap, and soar—together.
Dan’s Adventure: Ballet Hero Fantasy, vol. 1
By Takafumi Adachi
Ages 6–12; 42 pages; paperback; 2014
Adachi (Beyblade) collaborated with Steven McRae, a principal dancer with The Royal Ballet, to create this series of ballet-themed manga adventures; so far, only the first volume is available in English. Ballet student Dan glimpses his idol, McRae, pass magically through a studio mirror. Dan follows McRae into the magical Dance World, where the two dancers transform into Ballet Heroes, leaping and spinning into battle with a malicious gang, the Evil-eyes.
Ballerina Gets Ready
Written by Allegra Kent and illustrated by Catherine Stock
Publisher: Holiday House
Ages 4–8; 40 pages; hardcover; 2016
Iris has a busy day before taking the stage in a new ballet. She wakes at 8am and soon heads to the theater for classes, costume fittings, rehearsals, and an unexpected change in partners. Soon enough, it’s show time. The musicians tune their instruments, and the stage manager calls for places. At 8pm the curtain rises—and the dancing begins! Written by former New York City Ballet principal and Balanchine muse Allegra Kent (Ballerina Swan).
Numbers on the Move: 1 2 3 Dance and Count With Me
Written by Teresa Benzwie and illustrated by Mark Weber
Publisher: Temple University Press
Ages 2–7; 32 pages; paperback; 2011
“Move with the numbers, count to the beat. Clap your hands. Tap your feet. Count one two three four, with your Head Shoulders Elbows Hands Arms Hips Knees Feet!” Early childhood educator Benzwie incorporates her philosophy—that creative movement helps children gain knowledge through the body—into this book of games and activities that encourage kids to dance, stretch, and move as they learn to count and play with numbers.