Black Ballerinas by Misty Copeland

Back in 2015, we did a series of review posts of picture books about black ballerinas.

Imagine our delight when we discovered the middle grade collection of biographies, Black Ballerinas: My Journey to Our Legacy by superstar ballerina Misty Copeland and illustrated by Salena Barnes.

(*Amazon Affiliate link- As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.)

Unlike most nonfiction biography collections, Misty Copeland’s approach is a very personal one. Told in the first person, each biography reflects how twenty-five different black ballerinas have influenced her career (“My Journey” in the title). In many ways it is Misty Copeland’s memoir.

Misty Copeland didn’t have a lot of exposure to ballet or prominent black dancers as a child. She was in her late teens when she saw black ballerina Lauren Anderson on a magazine cover for the first time. Seeing Lauren  inspired Misty and showed her that she wasn’t alone, that her dream to be a ballerina wasn’t impossible. Black Ballerinas was conceived to allow other youngsters see themselves as dancers.

The illustrations by Salena Barnes are equally inspiring. She captures the motion, the grace, and the magic of ballet on the page, while at the same time revealing the unique person who is the ballerina. Gorgeous! Beautiful! Breathtaking!

Black Ballerinas is a must have for young black dancers and aspiring ballerinas, but also would be lovely for anyone interested in music and dance to enjoy.


You can see more about Misty and the book in this interview:

Wise words to live by:  “Be open to guidance and advice. ”

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 10 years and up
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Aladdin (November 2, 2021)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1534474242
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1534474246

#Kidlit Smitten with Kittens

For a few minutes of quiet reading enjoyment, try the picture book, Smitten With Kittens by the married team of  Florence Minor and Wendell Minor.

Built around a gentle rhyming text,

Who isn’t smitten
with a kitten’s sweet mew
and all the cute things
that kittens do?

and delightful graphite on paper and digital illustrations of kittens playing and napping, this picture book also includes 10 “Fun Facts” about taking care of and enjoying kittens in the back matter.

Smitten with Kittens would make lovely bedtime reading as well as a useful guide to have on hand before adopting a new kitten. Curl up with a copy today!


There’s a peek inside and a free coloring sheet to download at Charlesbridge.

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 3 – 7 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Charlesbridge (March 8, 2022)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1623541670
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1623541675

Disclosure: An e-ARC was supplied for review purposes by the publisher, Also, 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.

Some Great Recommendations for Board Books

I’m adding this here so I can review the answers. There are some gems for board books.

The Runaway Pea By Kjartan Poskitt Delights

Have you seen this delightful picture book: The Runaway Pea by Kjartan Poskitt and illustrated Alex Willmore, published by Simon and Schuster.

At the low point of the story, a moment when all looks lost, Poskitt comes up with the most heartwarming solution.

The rhyme is wonderful, too.

What do you think?