Summary: Bunheads by Misty Copeland
Bunheads was my first experience with a Misty Copeland picture book. I love watching her dance, so I was happy to get a digital copy of this ARC. This story is based on Misty’s first-time experience with ballet class. The teacher tells them the story of Coppelia (which they will be performing), and then they learn the steps and eventually perform by the end of the book.
Books about dance — and ballet, especially — are always welcome. It’s also even better when Black kids can see themselves in such stories, since ballet hasn’t traditionally being the most welcoming towards Black bodies. I like to learn new things when I read stories, so I was captivated by the Coppelia and I liked that addition in the story. Misty’s bright-eyed anticipation, her eagerness to do well, and her determination to put in the work were heartwarming to read and see.
One other high point was the warmth in the ballet studio. The teacher was sweet and gracious, and refreshingly, there was no bad blood between the dancers, even when choosing coveted roles for the performance. It was a relief to see it depicted that way. I think such depictions, do good for children, even though reality may be a bit harsher. Finally, it was fun learning about a few ballet moves in a couple of scenes.
Overall: Bunheads by Misty Copeland
Bunheads is an inspiring picture book, perfect for kids who love ballet! This picture book highlights Misty’s first ballet performance, and her love for the art of dance is clear as day. I loved the depiction of supportive parents, healthy cooperation between fellow dancers, and the presence of an encouraging ballet teacher. Bonus points for the inclusion of an appealing ballet-related folk tale at the start of the story. I didn’t LOVE the illustrations, but it’s always fun to see kids of different races moving around in tutus! I would definitely recommend.
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I received an eARC from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
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Have you read this book or any other picture books by Misty Copeland? What did you think? What are your favorite ballet picture books?