The Cranky Ballerina

The Cranky Ballerina book cover

Ada is a very cranky ballerina. Who can blame her? Her leotard is too tight, her tutu too itchy, and her arabesque is a complete fail. Can anything put a smile on her face?

The Cranky Ballerina
by Elise Gravel
Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, 2016
ISBN 978-0-06-235124-1
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 24 cm
Picture book, fiction
Interest Level: K-3; Reading Level: 1.5
3 out of 5 stars


This is the story of a young girl who is forced to go to ballet class every Saturday, even though she hates it. I love the comically grouchy character, and her small green sidekick is very entertaining too. Ada doesn’t like ballet because she’s not very good at it, and ballet class is an exercise in torture and humiliation. Until one day Ada twirls right out the door and accidentally discovers her true calling.

Children who enjoy ballet will like the terminology of the ballet class, such as arabesque and plies, and other readers will enjoy the grumpiness of Ada. This is a fun book that teaches the importance of finding your talents.

Young readers will enjoy the humor of the story, but adults might be bothered by Ada’s attitude and the fact that she is being forced to participate in an activity that she clearly does not enjoy. I have to admit that I was bothered by the fact that she was being forced to do ballet when she clearly did not want to participate.

Overall, I had mixed feelings about this book.

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