National Dance Day

September 18 is National Dance Day! Bust out your best moves and celebrate with these new and upcoming books.

B is for Broadway: Onstage and Backstage from A to Z
By John Robert Allman
Illustrated by Peter Emmerich
48 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593305638 | Doubleday BFYR
Step into the spotlight and celebrate a cavalcade of Broadway legends! Start with “A” for “audition” with the iconic line-up from A Chorus Line, then peek behind “B” to see the “backstage” buzz, and dance along with “C” for “choreographers.” Children and grown-ups alike can spot beloved stars and creators from today and yesterday, such as Lin-Manuel Miranda, Patti LuPone, Michael Bennett, Jennifer Holliday, Ethel Merman, and Billy Porter. Readers will also see famous New York theaters, beloved shows such as Hamilton and Hairspray, and the crew, stylists, and technicians who are vital to each performance. It’s a celebration of the American stage that no fan is going to want to miss.

Ballet Bunnies #1: The New Class
By Swapna Reddy
Illustrated by Binny Talib
96 Pages | Ages 6-9 | Paperback
ISBN 9780593304921 | Random House BFYR
Peek behind the curtain and find the Ballet Bunnies in this new full-color chapter book series featuring the most darling dancers you will ever meet! Miss Luisa’s School of Dance is a magical place. There are dancers and music . . . and bunnies that talk and do ballet! No one knows the bunnies are there. Then, Millie arrives. She’s new to ballet class and doesn’t know all the moves. But when all the other dancers are gone, she discovers the Ballet Bunnies! They can help Millie find her dancing feet–so long as she can keep the Ballet Bunnies a secret!

Bunheads
By Misty Copeland
Illustrated by Setor Fiadzigbey
32 Pages | Ages 5-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780399547645 | Putnam BFYR
From prima ballerina and New York Times bestselling author Misty Copeland comes the story of a young Misty, who discovers her love of dance through the ballet Coppélia – a story about a toymaker who devises a villainous plan to bring a doll to life. Misty is so captivated by the tale and its heroine, Swanilda, she decides to audition for the role. But she’s never danced ballet before; in fact, this is the very first day of her very first dance class! Though Misty is excited, she’s also nervous. But as she learns from her fellow bunheads, she makes wonderful friends who encourage her to do her very best. Misty’s nerves quickly fall away, and with a little teamwork, the bunheads put on a show to remember. Featuring the stunning artwork of newcomer Setor Fiadzigbey, Bunheads is an inspiring tale for anyone looking for the courage to try something new.

Llama Llama Dance Recital Fun
By Anna Dewdney
32 Pages | Ages 4-6 | Paperback
ISBN 9780593432228 | Random House BFYR
Luna Giraffe is practicing for her dance recital. But she’s so nervous that she doesn’t think she can perform! How will Llama Llama and friends help Luna get over her jitters? The beloved character, made famous by Anna Dewdney’s best-selling picture books, is the star of his own original series. Step 2 Readers use basic vocabulary and short sentences to tell simple stories, for children who recognize familiar words and can sound out new words with help. Rhyme and rhythmic text paired with picture clues help children decode the story.

Mason Mooney: Doppelganger Detective
By Seaerra Miller
72 Pages | Ages 7-11 | Paperback
ISBN 9781838740030 | Flying Eye Books
Mason Mooney returns for another mysterious adventure in this magical sequel to Seaerra Miller’s Mason Mooney: Paranormal Investigator! It’s Halloween in Grimbrook, and Mason and his trusty assistant (and only friend) Iris are ready to cut loose at the Grimbrook middle school dance. But when the discovery of a haunted mirror cuts things short, Mason and Iris are on the case, ready to stand between Grimbrook and their horrible doppelgängers from the mirror dimension! Get ready for more mystery, more magic, and a shocking kiss that could shake things up for our favorite paranormal investigators forever!

¡Mambo Mucho Mambo! The Dance That Crossed Color Lines
By Dean Robbins
Illustrated by Eric Velasquez
40 Pages | Ages 7-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536206081 | Candlewick
Millie danced to jazz in her Italian neighborhood. Pedro danced to Latin songs in his Puerto Rican neighborhood. It was the 1940s in New York City, and they were forbidden to dance together . . . until first a band and then a ballroom broke the rules. Machito and His Afro-Cubans hit the scene with a brand-new sound, blending jazz trumpets and saxophones with Latin maracas and congas creating Latin jazz, music for the head, the heart, and the hips. Then the Palladium Ballroom issued a bold challenge to segregation and threw open its doors to all. Illustrated with verve and told through real-life characters who feature in an afterword, ¡Mambo Mucho Mambo! portrays the power of music and dance to transcend racial, religious, and ethnic boundaries.

Merci Suárez Can’t Dance
By Meg Medina
384 Pages | Ages 9-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780763690502 | Candlewick
Seventh grade is going to be a real trial for Merci Suárez. For science she’s got no-nonsense Mr. Ellis, who expects her to be a smart as her brother, Roli. She’s been assigned to co-manage the tiny school store with Wilson Bellevue, a boy she barely knows, but whom she might actually like. And she’s tangling again with classmate Edna Santos, who is bossier and more obnoxious than ever now that she is in charge of the annual Heart Ball. One thing is for sure, though: Merci Suárez can’t dance – not at the Heart Ball or anywhere else. Dancing makes her almost as queasy as love does, especially now that Tía Inés, her merengue-teaching aunt, has a new man in her life. Unfortunately, Merci can’t seem to avoid love or dance for very long. She used to talk about everything with her grandfather, Lolo, but with his Alzheimer’s getting worse each day, whom can she trust to help her make sense of all the new things happening in her life? The Suárez family is back in a touching, funny story about growing up and discovering love’s many forms, including how we learn to love and believe in ourselves.

My Daddy Can Fly!
By Thomas Forster and Shari Siadat
Illustrated by Jami Gigot
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593180976 | Random House Studio
Ben and his friends are playing in their favorite part of the classroom – the dress-up corner! They are talking about what they want to be when they grow up. Rachel wants to be a tae kwon do master, Dixie wants to be a doctor like her auntie, and John wants to be a teacher just like their teacher, Mr. Underwood. But when Ben says he wants to fly just like his daddy, his friends are sure his daddy must be a pilot. Ben tells his friends that they aren’t even close, but he offers a few more clues. His daddy is strong, gentle, fierce, and fast. His friends have lots of guesses, but no one lands on the right one until Ben gives them the biggest clue of all. Written by a dad who is also a professional ballet dancer, this story will appeal to all ballet dancing children and their loved ones.

Ready for the Spotlight!
By Jaime Kim
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536205183 | Candlewick
Confidence goes a long way, and so does practice – but the support of a loving family and community matters even more in this winsome tale of dancing your way into your own unique talents. Tessie has taken ballet for a whole month and thinks she has it down. If it weren’t for her big sister, Maya, who seems to own the spotlight, Tessie would dazzle the whole class. But when Maya lands the lead – and the coveted princess crown – in the fall recital, not even freestyle dancing can fully rescue Tessie’s spirits. But maybe they each have something to teach and the spotlight is big enough for two? Jaime Kim’s author-illustrator debut captures the shifting emotions of competition, sisterhood, and joy in movement with warmth, charm, and a delicious candy-bright palette.

Téo’s Tutu
By Maryann Jacob Macias
Illustrated by Alea Marley
32 Pages | Ages 3-5 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781984815521 | Dial BFYR
This story of a boy’s first ballet recital celebrates gender-creativity, the joy of dance, and being yourself Téo loves to dance, whether it’s the cumbia with Papí, the bhangra with Amma, or ballet class with Miss Lila. He also loves the way his tutu makes him feel, inside and out. But when it comes time to decide which outfit to wear in the big dance recital – a sparkly tutu or shimmering silver pants – Téo wonders if being his most authentic self on stage will put him too much in the spotlight.

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