Reading/Interest Level: Preschool, Primary
Author: Michelle Meadows
Illustrator: Ebony Glenn
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
What does it take to become a prima ballerina? African American ballerina Janet Collins inspires others through her journey to become an renowned dancer. Though born in the time of racial segregation, Janet does not let societal pressure and racial discrimination dissuade her from pursuing her dream. Even as a little girl, Janet with the support of her family already demonstrates her talent for dancing. In the face of obstacles she stands strong. Through her hard work and unique interpretation of multiple dance styles, Janet shows the world her amazing abilities.
This book is a wonderful biographical story about Janet Collins told at an appropriate level for beginner readers. The rhyming of sentences allows the readers to flow easily from one page to the next. The illustrations are detailed and accurate and help portray what the writer is trying to convey to the readers. It is a story about determination and perseverance in life. Young readers can draw great inspiration from Janet’s trailblazing story. The storyline seems a bit compact at times so more context and discussion are likely helpful to help beginner readers understand the whole scope of the historical and cultural significance of Janet Collins accomplishments.