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A Very Young Dancer Hardcover – October 12, 1976

22 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; 1st edition (October 12, 1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394408853
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394408859
  • Product Dimensions: 12 x 9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #176,001 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By ATP on November 4, 2003
Format: Hardcover
While Jill Krementz is a talented photographer, what my daughter and I really loved about this series was the very detailed text. She was fascinated to learn that each level at the School of American Ballet wears a different color leotard. She sympathized with the dancer who wants a new role in The Nutcracker, but gets the same casting. She learned the difference between a class, a rehearsal, and a performance - all opportunities to dance, but each with a specific purpose.
The original Jill Krementz books, like this one, were printed in black and white. A few later books ("A Very Young Skier") are in full color. But while the color photos look more contemporary and appealing, the later books are "dumbed down" - the text is very short, more like picture captions than narrative.
For the wonderful sense of detail you need the classic titles like "A Very Young Dancer." They make a dancer's life so real, a young reader can easily picture herself (or himself) doing the same. And that's the real power of this series: instead of being a passive spectator, the young reader becomes a participant. My daughter is now dancing in The Nutcracker for her ninth (and last) year. I think "A Very Young Dancer" was a big help along the way.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin F. Collins III on December 20, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I am a ballet dancer. I have been dancing for 15 years now, and this is still one of my favorite books. I was introduced to it when I was about 5 and it facinated me. The whole story seemed true to what I knew about ballet and Stephanie, the main character, lived my biggest dreams! For years, I only borrowed it from the library, and soon it was one of the most worn in their collection! Finally, we moved away and the next library didn't have it, but Mom found it at a used book store and bought it for me. I ended up meeting David Richards, a teacher in the book, at a ballet competition and he signed it for me. He told me that Stephanie doesn't dance any more, and I don't think she ever made it into New York City Ballet company or any other ballet company. Like I said earlier, I've been dancing 15 years and this book, to me, is even more a true embodiment of what the every-day life of a ballet dancer is! I've known this book so long that I can quote it forwards and backwards, and almest every sentence is or has been true for me! I just finished a run of Nutcracker and, "I tore a little pink ribbon off the pantaloons that I wore in the party scene to keep for a souvenir."-to quote page 118. I am positive that current dancers, former dancers, future dancers, and sancers in their dreams will absolutly love this book, especially because it is so true to what they feel!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By on October 3, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I received this book as a Christmas gift around 1980, I believe. I cannot tell you how much this book meant to me as a girl. I must have read it about 200 times. My mother recently moved and was going through all our childhood things and found the book packed away. She gave it to me. I was so delighted because I thought I'd lost the book years ago. I sat down immediately and read it again. And yep...its still as good as it ever was.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Researchers constantly find that reading to children is valuable in a variety of ways, not least of which are instilling a love of reading and improved reading skills. With better parent-child bonding from reading, your child will also be more emotionally secure and able to relate better to others. Intellectual performance will expand as well. Spending time together watching television fails as a substitute.
To help other parents apply this advice, as a parent of four I consulted an expert, our youngest child, and asked her to share with me her favorite books that were read to her as a young child. A Very Young Dancer was one of her picks.
This is a story of a girl, Stephanie, who has the starring girl's role in The Nutcracker at age 10. The book is full of wonderful photographs that show ballet as it is experienced by the dancers. The story is written as though by Stephanie, so you see the world from her perspective.
My daughter loved this story so much, that she would beg me to keep reading. I would keep going until my voice was so hoarse I could not continue. And I loved the story, too.
Almost all little girls become interested in ballet at some point. This book is a wonderful way to encourage and expand on that interest while your child is too young to actually begin training. The material in this book can help sustain an interest in ballet later on, either as a dancer or as a fan. It will certainly encourage everyone who reads it to see The Nutcracker performed again this holiday season.
Although the story is focused on Stephanie, she also dances with eleven year old Stephen in The Nutcracker. Other male figures include Shaun O'Brien who plays Drosselmeyer and Stephanie's teacher, David Richardson.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 2, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I am very partial to this book because it was one of my favorites when I was a little girl. I do believe this book is an absolute must-have for any young girl who takes part in the performing arts, particularly ballet. A VERY YOUNG DANCER is about a beautiful little girl named Stephanie who is a student at the prestigious American School of Ballet. We see her learning technique with her fellow students under the direction of David Howard. Eventually, we see her live the dream of many little would-ballerinas as Stephanie is chosen for the part of Mary (or Clara in many versions) in the New York City Ballet's production of the Nutcracker. I think the most important aspect of this book is the message--hard work, determination, and a good attitude are essential for making dreams come true.
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