Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Dancing with Degas

Dancing with Degas

Julie Merberg, Suzanne Bober
Board Book
For ages 2 to and up
Chronicle Books, 2003   ISBN: 978-0811840477

It all begins with "tying toe shoes and braiding hair" as the ballerinas get ready for dance class. There are the stretching exercises and practicing the same movement over and over until each one is "perfect." We watch the ballerina spin and dip across the floor as the teacher counts "1,2,3,4."

Then there is the performance itself with beautiful dresses swishing across the stage, a fairy princess in a dress of green.

Beautifully reproduced pictures of Degas’ famous ballet pictures bring a ballerina’s days to life. Though Degas did his pictures many years ago a ballerina today still must practice and as she floats across the stage she looks so very like the girls and young women whom Degas portrayed in his atmospheric paintings and pastels.

Musical rhyming text and appropriately chosen examples of Degas’ work make this board book a wonderful introduction to the art and world of Edgar Degas.