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Time for Ballet

Time for Ballet

4.0 1
by Adele Geras, Shelagh McNicholas (Illustrator)

Tilly loves her ballet class.  What could be more fun?  She gets to wear special clothes, try out fancy new positions, and do her best cat impression.  But, when it's time for the big recital, Tilly learns another aspect of ballet: the preperformance jitters!

Perfect for the beginning ballerina, this gentle text combined with exuberant


Tilly loves her ballet class.  What could be more fun?  She gets to wear special clothes, try out fancy new positions, and do her best cat impression.  But, when it's time for the big recital, Tilly learns another aspect of ballet: the preperformance jitters!

Perfect for the beginning ballerina, this gentle text combined with exuberant wand warm illustrations captures the joy and excitement brought on by everything from wearing your first tutu to practicing your first plié.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
Rachel Isadora's Lili books describe professional ballet training, and Katharine Holabird's Angelina Ballerina series provide snapshots of a mouse star in the making; but this accessible title offers a view of ballet school more in line with ordinary kids' experiences. Every Tuesday, seven children-six girls and one boy-gather for their ballet lesson under the tutelage of the energetic and patient Miss Anne. Class is one exciting learning experience after another: "We do leg bends and jumps next," explains Tilly, the narrator, as she and classmates earnestly work their doughy bodies. "Miss Anne calls them plides and jetes. That's leg bends and jumps in French." Then comes the big recital-a triumph for Tilly, who overcomes a tummy "full of butterflies" to shine as a dancing cat ("When the show is over, everyone claps very loudly and we do our best curtsies and bows"). Geras (The Magic of the Ballet: Giselle) breaks the story into bite-size parts and shows a keen understanding for how a young storyteller would pick and choose her details. ("Ballet clothes aren't very easy to get into," says Tilly as she struggles with her leotard.) McNicholas's (the Animals in the Ark series) watercolors revel in the gentle chaos and unfettered joy of creative endeavor; the studio's expansive, sunlit floor and long white walls reverberate with fun and possibilities. Ages 2-up. (Mar.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Get out your leotard and ballet shoes. It's time for ballet class. This charming story about Tutu Tilly who loves ballet will have young readers begging for a class in ballet. The story comes alive as Tilly changes into her clothes and practices her ballet positions for the upcoming show. Geras capture's Tilly's voice as she brings the young reader inside her character. Her expression of emotion and choice of words allows the reader to experience ballet through Tilly's voice and heart. At one point, Tilly is practicing her butterfly wings and fluttering lightly across the floor. The music changes and the ballet students thump, crash, and whump to the music while they practice being dinosaurs. The colorful illustrations are a natural fit with the text. The book is a perfect gift for young children who are interested in the ballet. 2003, Dial Books for Young Readers, Ages 3 to 5.
—Mindy Hardwick
Library Journal - Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Six girls and one boy at ballet school get changed, do their warm-up exercises, and practice for their recital. Tilly describes how she then goes home to practice being a "leapy cat, a curled-up-to-sleepy cat, a stretchy cat, a pounce-on-a-mousey cat." On the day of the show, Mom helps her dress up in her costume and, in spite of a little case of nerves, she is wonderful on stage. The audience is appropriately enthusiastic and Tilly eagerly looks forward to her next class. As much about movement as ballet, this warm story aptly conveys a child's love of dance. The soft watercolor art with lots of white space showcases the youngsters who are eager if not yet accomplished. This delightful offering is a lovely way to introduce children to the joys of moving to music while helping them overcome pre-performance jitters.-Susan Pine, New York Public Library Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Tilly is tickled pink because it's Tuesday, the day for ballet lessons. She eagerly prances through her warm-up exercises before moving on to executing the positions. Lessons conclude with the announcement about an upcoming recital where Tilly will perform as a cat. Geras skillfully blends technical information with the lighter side of ballet, offering a primer in ballet basics as told from a preschooler's perspective. In preparation for the recital, Tilly elegantly captures all things feline through her movements, allowing readers a glimpse of the creative license allowed through the dance. Geras's tale underscores that expression, not perfection, is the ultimate goal. McNicholas uses a colorful palate, little wiggly line helping to capture the ebullience and chaos of preschool ballet lessons. The intent expression of the dancers as they stomp around like dinosaurs or flit about like butterflies and the antics of the dancer's siblings as they await the end of class provide wry touches of humor and a genuine slice-of-life feel to the images. Geared for the tiniest tiptoes, this sparkling tale is bound to delight. (Picture book. 2-6)

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
10.26(w) x 11.18(h) x 0.36(d)
Age Range:
5 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Adèle Geras married in 1967 and moved to Manchester, where she still lives with her husband and two daughters. She taught French at a girls' grammar school and started writing in 1973.

Her first book Tea at Mrs. Manderby's was published by Hamish Hamilton Children's Books in 1976.

Adèle particularly enjoys writing for young adults — her books explore relationships between people and strong emotions without losing sight of the need for a strong narrative line. For younger children she often injects an element of fantasy. Ozzy, the cat who narrates the Fantora Family Files has become one of Adèle's favourite characters and she says "he is seriously thinking of writing another book soon."

Adèle also writes poetry which has appeared in various magazines and anthologies. She is a voracious reader, a "fanatical" knitter and a lifelong movie-goer.

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Time for Ballet 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
All young dancers, boys and girls alike, will easily and happily relate to Tilly. This is a little girl who loves her ballet classes so much that her Mom calls her 'Tutu Tilly.' These classes are all excitement and fun for Tilly. She likes the special clothes, especially her pretty pink leotard, and she even enjoys warm-up exercises. However, there's also a great deal of work to be done because there's a big show coming up. There are all kinds of animals in the show - Howard is a butterfly, Jake is a dinosaur, and Tilly is a cat. She practices every day because she's determined to dance just like a real cat. Then, as the big day approaches, whoops, she has a funny feeling in her stomach - it's those pre-performance butterflies. However, everyone knows the show must go on. Illustrator McNicholas perfectly captures the action and excitement of young dancers in her sprightly, colorful paintings.