Tag Archives: ballet

Level Up: Pairing Video Games with Children’s and YA Books (Just Dance)

4 Aug

Level Up- Video Game Book ListsEach Thursday this summer, I’ll be posting a video game and corresponding book list. This is just a fun, personal project that was actually the brainchild of my boyfriend who thought that A) it sounded awesome and B) that there are a lot of parents who would love to have some resources for those kids who would rather be in front of a screen than a book. I’m hoping these titles will appeal to both boys and girls who love gaming and who do love storytelling; they just need the right book to make them readers. Each list will include the Entertainment Software Rating Board’s (ESRB) rating for the game. I know that every family is different, but want to make sure this information is provided as I’ll be offering lists for games for younger kids as well as teens.

Just Dance (E 10+)

91XvJfBUcAL._AC_SL1500_Just Dance is a rhythm based videogame that gets kids (and adults!) off the sofa and grooving to the beat!  With a number of installments already released including kid-specific titles, you won’t be able to keep your toes from tapping!  The books suggested focus mainly on dance, but include a variety of dance styles, dancers, and not only include stories, but a few autobiographies as well.

A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman 
A novel in verse about a young classical Indian dancer, Veda, whose dreams are shattered when an accident requires a below the knee amputation.  Will Veda ever be able to dance again?  A coming-of-age story, perfect for readers looking to find their place in the world.

Ballerina Dreams: From Orphan to Dancer by Michaela DePrince 
An autobiography about Michaela DePrince, who lived in an orphanage in Sierra Leone, was adopted by an American family and later began the journey of becoming a world famous ballerina. A truly inspirational story for early chapter book readers.

Dancing Shoes by Noel Streatfield 
A classic, old-fashioned story about three young girls competing for their dreams at Coral Wintle’s London dancing school.  A great read aloud for adults and young ones alike.

Firebird by Misty Copeland  
Learning to dance takes hard work, dedication, and patience as one little girl learns in this story written by American Ballet Theater soloist Misty Copeland.  A beautiful picture book for your youngest readers who yearn to dance.

Savion!: My Life in Tap by Savion Glover 
Dancing isn’t just for girls!  Savion Glover is a well-known male, tap dancer and this autobiography takes a look at what it took Savion to succeed as he incorporated rap and hip-hop into a traditional dance form.  This autobiography is geared toward middle grade readers.

Video Game Booklists:

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Book Review: The Totally Secret Secret

1 Sep

23197611The Totally Secret Secret written and illustrated by Bob Shea is the story of two friends who play together everyday.  But, everyday they play the same thing, ballet.  One day, Sparkles the Pony has a secret that he is afraid to share with Ballet Cat, a secret that would make Ballet Cat not want to be his friend anymore.  Finally, after much pleading on Ballet Cat’s part, Sparkles shares with Ballet Cat that sometimes he just doesn’t want to play ballet.  Ballet Cat reveals that even those she loves ballet, she loves her friend Sparkles, more.

With bright backgrounds and basic line drawings that convey more expression than you can imagine in Shea’s typical style, this story is perfect for an beginner reader who is comfortable following speech bubbles (similar to Mo Willem’s Elephant & Pigge series) with words that are a little more advanced and inflection with words written in italics.  A story to share the importance of listening, compromise, and friendship.

Title: The Totally Secret Secret
Author & Illustrator: Bob Shea
Publisher: Disney
Publication Date: 2015

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