Ballerina Gets Ready

illus. by Catherine Stock. 40p. Holiday House. Mar. 2016. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9780823435630; ebk. $16.95. ISBN 9780823435807.
PreS-Gr 2—Prima ballerina Kent is back with a second picture book, this one detailing the day of a professional dancer as she prepares for the night's performance. Leggy, red-haired Iris goes through the hours of her day, from waking up in her apartment to attending vigorous ballet classes and rehearsals. The day culminates in the evening performance of an unnamed ballet. Lovely pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations give a nod to impressionism, with soft lines and vibrant colors. Iris and her hair stand out in the full-page spreads of the autumn streets of New York City, arched-windowed ballet studio, and the dark curtained backstage. Stock captures the casts' dancing and resting postures beautifully, bringing their slender forms to life and assuredly captivating young readers with the art of ballet. However, the text is not quite as graceful, featuring few descriptive elements and some clumsy moments. Ballet terms are prevalent but undefined for nondancers.
VERDICT A general purchase with engaging illustrations, but a ballet story that does not quite hit all its marks. However, where ballet books circulate well, this one will be no exception.

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