Children’s Books About African-American Ballerinas: Janet Collins

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)
ISBN-10: 0399252843
ISBN-13: 978-0399252846

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leaf-borderVisit our other posts this about Children’s Books Celebrating African-American Ballerinas:

Monday:  Michaela DePrince

Tuesday: Misty Copeland

Wednesday: Debbie Allen

Thursday:  Janet Collins

Friday:  Beautiful (African-American) Ballerina


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