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Ballerino Nate Hardcover – March 16, 2006

4.3 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2–Nate decides he wants to dance after attending a recital, but his older brother tells him that boys cant be ballerinas. Even though the childs parents tell him otherwise, Bens words worry the would-be performer. Nate loves his ballet class, but he wonders why he is the only boy. His troubles disappear when he attends a professional performance and meets one of the male dancers. He explains that he calls himself a dancer, but you could also call a male dancer a ballerino. Alleys ink-and-watercolor illustrations of the animal characters have a playful energy that moves the story forward. While the word ballerino may not exist, which the text unfortunately fails to clarify, children will admire Nates persistence to follow his interest despite the obstacles. Aspiring dancers of either gender will enjoy this look at the art of dancing from a male perspective.–Rachel G. Payne, Brooklyn Public Library, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

PreS-K. In the spirit of Charlotte Zolotow's William's Doll (1972) and Tomie dePaola's Oliver Button Is a Sissy (1979), this picture book offers a true-to-life view of childhood enthusiasms hamstrung by gender stereotypes. Anthropomorphic puppy Nate signs up for ballet lessons after watching a local recital, but needling from his older brother ("Boys can't be ballerinas. They never, ever, ever can"), not to mention being the only boy in class, weakens his resolve. Finally, his encouraging mother arranges a visit to a professional ballet that resuscitates Nate's excitement. Though the story's pace seems uneven, Bradley writes smoothly and insightfully about Nate's experiences, updating the familiar parable by allowing his crisis of confidence to be almost entirely internal rather than triggered by cliched naysayers (Mom and Dad are equally enlightened, and their discussions defuse brother's snide words). Alley's watercolor-and-pencil contributions, portraying an entirely canine universe, capture both the warm family dynamics and Nate's zooming, irrepressible energy. Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Dial (March 16, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803729545
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803729544
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 0.4 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,123,850 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book gave me a few "mommy moments". Our son, Nick, is now a dance major in college. He started out wanting to learn tap dancing at about 4 years of age after watching a friend, so we found a tap and ballet class- never thinking that this would go beyond a session or two. He got through the "being the only boy", and "do I have to wear pink" (and later the "wearing tights") speed bumps successfully. Like Nate in the book, he loved the costumes, loved leaping and spinning, loved moving to the music. For boys in the U.S. who want to dance (especially if they want to do ballet) there are very few popular role models and a lot of grief from their peers. As one professional dancer noted in a recent magazine article, male dancers end up having to be tougher and more focused than many young men, due to the negative image of male dancers held by those around them. A young man in a local ballet production with Nick loaned him a copy of the video about four ABT danseurs Born to Be Wild - The Leading Men of American Ballet Theatre and Nick watched it so often that he memorized it! So, as a "danseur's mom" (danseur being the term Nick was told related to male dancers), I support any book that would encourage a young man to follow his dream of dancing. This one is really resonates with me: the pictures are detailed and funny, the dialogue echoed similar conversations around our house, and the ups and downs of Nate's emotions as the book progressed dealt with situations Nick also had to face. I want to buy several and donate them to local libraries for their collections.
After I got the book, I read it aloud to Nick's older brother, who teaches elementary school music and band.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a great story about the fluidity of gender roles... and about dancing! When little Nate sees a student ballet production for a school field trip, he decides that he wants to become a dancer. His older brother teases him and tells him that boys can't be ballerinas, and that he'll have to wear pink dance shoes and a dress. Even though the teasing makes Nate anxious that "only girls" can dance, he isn't deterred, and with support from both his parents, he follows through and takes classes anyway. If you have a kid who is interested in dancing, particularly a boy, this is a wonderful, with warm writing and a complex emotional palette. Nice artwork, too, with lots going on to talk about while absorbing the message. Recommended! (ReadThatAgain!)
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Format: Hardcover
My boy had been wanting to take ballet. I was looking into signing him up when one of this stoopid pre-school teachers told him that it was just for girls. After that, as much as he continued to spin and dance at home, and continued to love to watch professionals do it, he continued to not want to take a class. This book got him to understand what I had been trying to explain to him: yes, there are many more girls that take ballet, but that boys can do it too if they want to.
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Format: Hardcover
Finally, a ballet book for boys! My 5 year old has been in ballet for a year and we search for ballet material for boys. He is very proud of what he does and even brought this book to school to share with his class. Great book...encouraging for boys who dare to be "different." More families should encourage their kids to do what they want...not what is expected for hobbies.
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Format: Hardcover
This frolicsome and high spirited story tells of a passion for dance through the eyes of a blossoming ballerina, who just so happens to be a little boy. After seeing a school ballet on the first day of his last week of kindergarten, Nate decides he wants to be a ballerina, but from the onset of his interest, his brother won't stop telling him, "boys don't dance." The ink and water color illustrations of canine characters dance throughout the book as smooth as a ballet itself. Slyly addressing gender stereotypes and the importance of following your dreams, uninhibited Nate ultimately overcomes his fear of being different after his mother takes him to a professional ballet and he meets a male ballet dancer. The dancer explains to Nate that although the word Ballerina is for women, men can dance too, and tells him that he is a Ballerino, leaving the reader with a joyously unrestrained look at dance from a refreshing male perspective.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a great book for the boy dancer in your family. It finally legitimizes a boys desire to dance without the stereotype society has placed on male dancers. Hooray!!!
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