Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Emma and Julia Love Ballet

Emma and Julia Love Ballet

Barbara McClintock
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 6
Scholastic Press, 2016   ISBN: 978-0439894012

One morning a little girl called Emma wakes up in in her pink bedroom, with its ballet dancer bedside lamp and ballet dancer poster. In the same city in a yellow bedroom, a bedroom decorated with ballet posters and ballet shoes, a young woman called Julia also wakes up. The little girl and the young woman both love ballet and this morning they both have ballet lessons.

In Emma’s class the students get ready and then they do their warm ups at the barre. In Julia’s class they do the same thing. Both dancers stretch and bend, turn and spin. Both the dancers love and respect their teachers.

After Emma’s class is over she goes home. She is excited because that evening she is going to see a ballet performance. Julia stays with her classmates to rehearse because they are going to be in the performance and they want to “make sure all the steps and movements are perfect.”

As Emma and her family arrive at the theatre, Julia and the other dancers wrap up their practicing and they go to get dressed in their costumes. Soon Julia, in the wings, and Emma, in the audience, are waiting. Both are excited for what is about to come.

This beautiful picture book is a wonderful tribute to all dancers; the very young ones who are just beginning their journey, and the older ones who are performing on stage for audiences. By alternating her narrative, the author shows us how the two characters are connected. Julia once was like Emma, and Emma could, one day, be like Julia.