The best ballet books 📚

Browse the best books on ballet as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

Coming Fall 2022: The ability to sort this list by genre (signup here to follow our story as we build a better way to discover books).

Book cover of Fancy Nancy: Budding Ballerina

Fancy Nancy: Budding Ballerina

By Jane O'Connor, Robin Preiss Glasser

Why this book?

The Fancy Nancy books are hugely popular, and this is a great addition to the series. Nancy loves to dress up and dance, and in this story she sets out to show her favorite ballet moves to her father, with touchingly humorous results. Young readers will enjoy following along as Nancy demonstrates her best plies, pirouettes, and jetes, and will probably be inspired to start their own ballet lessons!

An entertaining way to learn basic ballet positions, and a special treat for devoted little ballet students and their families.

From the list:

The best picture books to inspire little dancers

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of Ballet Lesson: Peppa Pig

Ballet Lesson: Peppa Pig

By Elizabeth Schaefer

Why this book?

Peppa is an adorable little pink pig, and the Peppa Pig books are full of family fun and laughter. In this 8x8 storybook, slightly older children will delight in Peppa’s very first ballet lesson as she learns some graceful dance steps with all her friends. When Peppa comes home and decides to teach her parents how to do ballet she gets quite a surprise! Wonderful humor and colorful, lively illustrations contribute to all the dancing fun.

From the list:

The best picture books to inspire little dancers

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of Polina

Polina

By Bastien Vives

Why this book?

Polina is about a would-be ballerina and a teacher and the methods he employs to get the best from his students. Polina ages from child to young adult through its pages, and as her comprehension of the world about her and the people in it changes, so too does the reader’s impressions of her. Like any good character piece, much depends on the performance of the players, and therefore Vivès and his ability to convey subtleties of emotional reactions. He always leaves enough room for the reader’s own interpretations, and so hooks you into the nuances of Polina’s feelings. Vivès…

From the list:

The best graphic novels for an emotional sensory reading experience

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of William Shakespeare: The Complete Works

William Shakespeare: The Complete Works

By William Shakespeare

Why this book?

Shakespeare’s tragedies resonate in most cultures because they address the human condition. That is why Romeo and Juliet have spawned West Side Story, many films, and Russian ballets. I personally organised the Joe and Zara workshop with a mixed group of teenagers working on a modern take on the story. The young people in this ten-minute video from the workshop are impressive. 

Othello too is tragic. Othello describes how Desdemona would come again ‘greedy –to hear tales of adventure sorrow and suffering. ‘She loved me for the dangers I had passed and I loved her that she did pity them.’…

From the list:

The best books about mixed relationships

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of The Very Fairy Princess Takes the Stage

The Very Fairy Princess Takes the Stage

By Julie Andrews, Emma Walton Hamilton

Why this book?

A storybook that takes me back to my own dancing childhood. The fabulous mother-daughter team of Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton have created a delightful series of picture books with a very winsome protagonist, Gerry, who loves being a fairy princess - and what little girl doesn’t? In this charming story Gerry is given the part of a court jester in the ballet recital - definitely not her first choice!  Little dancers will be inspired by Gerry’s determination and undaunted enthusiasm, and cheer her on as she saves the day. 

From the list:

The best picture books to inspire little dancers

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals

Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals

By Oliver Burkeman

Why this book?

Essential Skill #3 for Creatives: The ability to say no

Saying no is tricky, especially for people-pleasers. But if you don’t decide who you’ll say no to, in the end, no one will be happy with you. One of the many important lessons in Oliver Burkeman’s book is to decide in advance who you can disappoint. This book is both deep and practical at the same time, my favorite combination. In it, he makes a strong argument for reality in a way that very few books do these days. You just can’t argue with “Things take the time they take”…

From the list:

The best business books for creative professionals

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Or, view all 7 books about ballet

New book lists about ballet

All book lists about ballet

Bookshelves related to ballet

Browse books by…