Parents' Guide to

The Best Book of Ballet

By Tanya Smith, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

A step in the right direction for budding dancers.

Book Angela Wilkes Arts 2000
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THE BEST BOOK OF BALLET is a step in the right direction for budding ballerinas eager to twist and leap their way across the living room. Color illustrations show how to stand in the five basic positions, and how to bend hands and feet gracefully. This is a good primer for children about to attend their first ballet performance. The book informs children what ballet steps to look for, and how to better recognize and interpret dancers' dramatic gestures.

The book traces ballet's evolution from its birth in France and Italy in the 1500s and 1600s through romantic and classical ballet to modern ballet. A little ballerina graces the cover, and the endpapers are satin-shoe pink. The illustrations run the gamut from wide-angle dance performance pictures to tight shots of dancers' made-up faces. Unfortunately, all the artwork has a generic quality about it.

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