This week the spotlight is on children’s books featuring African-American ballerinas. Today we have a historical-fiction picture book kindled by the life of ballerina Janet Collins: A Dance Like Starlight: One Ballerina’s Dreamby Kristy Dempsey and illustrated by Floyd Cooper.
Told from the point of view of a young girl who dreams of being a ballerina, this book reveals the importance of seeing role models who are able to succeed. In this case the role model is Janet Collins, who became a prima ballerina at the Metropolitan Opera House in the 1950s.
In real life, Janet Collins did inspire African-American women to take up ballet, including Delores Brown and Raven Wilkinson. In turn, Raven Wilkinson became a mentor for Misty Copeland.
This book has gotten a lot of positive feedback. Right now on GoodReads A Dance Like Starlight has 116 reviews, which is almost unheard of for a relatively new children’s book. Everyone raves about Floyd Cooper’s illustrations, as well. You can catch a glimpse at the video trailer on Dreamscape.
A Dance Like Starlight encourages young children to dream big, regardless of their circumstances. It is a wonderful message to share.
Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Publisher: Philomel Books; First Edition edition (January 2, 2014)
Disclosure: I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.
Monday: Michaela DePrince
Tuesday: Misty Copeland
Wednesday: Debbie Allen
Thursday: Janet Collins