The idea that the above statement makes me want to cheer and celebrate, raises so many alarm bells inside my head. Because shouldn’t this be normal by now? Shouldn’t we be at a point in time where we’ve become accustomed to seeing people from all walks of life on book covers? Shouldn’t it be customary that all of us are represented?
That being said, I AM SO UNBELIEVABLY STOKED ABOUT THIS BOOK!!
*Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by Jonathan Ball Publishers in exchange for an honest review.*
One windy day, a magazine blew down the road. I reached out and caught it. A pretty picture of a woman was on the front cover of the magazine. She wore a short pink dress that stuck out around her in a circle. She looked very happy.
At the age of three, Michaela DePrince found a photo of a ballerina that changed her life. She was living in an orphanage in Sierra Leone at the time, but was soon adopted by a family and brought to America. Michaela never forgot the photo of the dancer she once saw, and decided to make her dream of becoming a ballerina come true. She has been dancing ever since, and after a spell as a principal dancer in New York, now dances for the Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam.
Beautifully and gently illustrated by Ella Okstad, Ballerina Dreams is the younger reader edition of Michaela DePrince’s highly moving memoir, Hope in a Ballet Shoe.
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. I loved that Michaela DePrince chose to share her story in the form of a children’s book too because I’m sure that there are so many girls and boys out there who could use this kind of inspiration.
The illustrations in this storybook are too adorable for words. Speaking as an adult who constantly needs to remind herself that she is indeed an adult :p , I really appreciated the design work and felt that it went along perfectly with the story. It gave off a warmth that I found to be fitting; and helped tell a difficult story in a light-hearted manner while somehow managing to keep the depth needed to bring the message across. I imagine that it would encourage young readers to ask questions, and give parents/guardians the chance to explain complicated matters in a calm, helpful way.
I loved every single thing about Ballerina Dreams! And I think the fact that it is based on a true story makes it especially important – it gets a big, fat YAAAS from me!
Goodreads Rating: 5/5 stars!
What are some of your favourite children’s books? Let me know in the comments below!