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A Child's Introduction to Ballet: The Stories, Music, and Magic of Classical Dance Hardcover – CD, April 30, 2007


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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Welcome to the magical world of ballet! In this book you'll experience dance in a whole new way—by listening and learning at the same time. You'll read about the history of ballet and its most famous dancers, composers, and choreographers. You'll find out a little bit about the different ballet steps and positions (and get a chance to try them yourself). And best of all, you'll read the wonderful stories of the world's greatest ballets, and, as the stories unfold, you can listen to pieces of music from some of them. Soon, you will be a ballet expert!

From The Nutcracker and Swan Lake to Rodeo, Fancy Free, and Peter and the Wolf, all of the world's most popular and beloved ballets are included here, illustrated with beautiful watercolors that you will want to return to again and again. Enjoy the stories (and the stories behind):

La Sylphide
Giselle
Coppélia
Don Quioxote
Swan Lake
Sleeping Beauty
The Nutcracker
Dying Swan
Firebird
Petrouchka
The Rite of Spring
Peter and the Wolf
Romeo and Juliet
Rodeo
Fancy Free
Circus Polka
Cinderella
Daphnis and Choloë

and more! --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Listen while you learn about the world's greatest ballets, dancers, choreographers, and composers!

Why do ballet dancers stand like ducks? (Page 13)
How high can the greatest ballet dancers leap? (Page 27)
What famous ballet company was originally made up of orphans? (Page 32)
Which very popular ballet was a complete FLOP when it was first performed? (Page 37)
Name three ballets featuring toys that come to life. (Page 55)
Which ballet music sounds as if it was written for stomping giants rather than pretty ballerinas? (Page 58)
Which famous ballet dancer did a duet with Miss Piggy on The Muppet Show? (Page 81)

Enjoy stories of the world's great ballets, listen to the music that brings them to life—and find out lots of fun facts along the way—in this entertaining and colorful book for young dancers and dance-lovers at every level.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 13 years
  • Grade Level: 4 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1040L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers; Har/Com edition (April 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579126995
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579126995
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 0.6 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,091 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Kathrine on March 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this so that I would have something to read to my ballet students occasionally. It is a beautiful book, however, I would recommend it for maybe the 8-10 age group. The music is nice to listen to at any age though. I had quite forgotten how many of the themes of ballets are a little racy! And how would a 4-5 year react to stories about love triangles, suicide (Romeo and Juliet), and other "mature" themes in ballet. I think older ballet students would get more of a kick out of this book than 4-6 year olds would.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Portland Oregon Mom on November 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
My twins now 5 1/2 have loved this book and CD since they were three years of age. We do not own this book or CD yet but have checked it out of the library many, many times. My twins love the music and will put it on and then create their own dance movements to the pieces. Also, we have read the stories that given ballets are based on many times. The stories have generated many discussions. My children have not been scared because they are reminded that the stories are fiction and not real. This book and CD provides an excellent introduction to ballet and classical music. My twins love this book and stated that they wish Santa Claus would bring a copy to our house as a present this year.

Pleae note that my twins have always been interested in classical music but when they saw live ballet performances at the age of three, they became even more interested in the music, stories, and dance that is associated with ballets. This book provides a scaffold for learning about ballets, music, and literature.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Juliana M. Mccalpin on January 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
My 5 year old daughter and I are really enjoying this book. We often include her older brothers when we read and listen, too. I put the tracks in my iTunes account, then use my iPhone as a remote (using the remote app) so, we can stop and start and go straight to the track we want, and then pause it to read a bit. It's nice to integrate the two that way. We also had my iPad nearby, and we stopped and found brief YouTube videos of the dances and dancers mentioned in the book. We certainly don't sit down and read this from cover to cover, although, an older child might. We are learning a lot, and it always prompts her to show us steps she did in her last dance class. Since class meets only once a week, I think it's valuable to stop and think about it in between classes. Plus, her showing US what she's been taught, certainly helps it stick. Great book!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jessie Dolezel on May 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a dance teacher and I love using books and videos as teaching aids and supplements to my curriculum. This book is excellent, it tells the stories of the great classical ballets in short story, understandable format for children and includes music!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tiffany Buch on April 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My son currently is taking ballet, I was told I should have him read the popular ballet stories so that he would have an understanding of the story before auditioning or performing pieces from the ballet. This book has several stories, it has a cd included with music from the ballets (the book will tell you to listen to a track that coincides witht the reading) the book is not childish at all and would be benificial to dancers of all ages. It is great for the begining dancer or reader with little to no knowledge of ballet as it explains the history, different positions,etc.

Having a son taking ballet I also appreciate that the book is not completly girly. It is very hard to find things for male dancers.

This book is much more than I had hoped for. I am very impressed with it and I highly recommend it to ANYONE. It is a complete overview of the most popular ballets wrapped up in one little book. The CD in my opinion completed the package making it a terrific value and recourse.

So to sum it up BUY this book!!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Marjo L. Gardner on June 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book was a gift to my granddaughter. I have only read the section on Giselle, as that ballet was the one we were preparing to see. I found that the CD was a good idea, but only contained a brief piece from each ballet. Also, there was no verbal announcement, nor written guide to which piece on the CD went with which ballet.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K Stephens on January 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I gave it to my 5 year old daughter who has enjoyed dancing to the CD and learning a little about each of the ballets (although as the other review pointed out,I have had to be aware of what information to tell her).
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My 5 year old daughter loves the book and it is an excellent intro to ballet with good information and illustrations. I hope it will help her continue to learn and enjoy the art form for years to come. Suitable for ages 4 - 12.
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A Child's Introduction to Ballet: The Stories, Music, and Magic of Classical Dance
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