cover image Gloria’s Promise: A Ballet Dancer’s First Step

Gloria’s Promise: A Ballet Dancer’s First Step

Robin Preiss Glasser and Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman, illus. by Robin Preiss Glasser. Random House Studio, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-59318-100-3

Sisters Glasser and Weitzman (You Can’t Take a Balloon into the Metropolitan Museum) reteam for this experiential tale, produced in partnership with American Ballet Theatre, of a young dancer determined to be admitted to ABT’s summer intensive. Gloria encourages herself internally (“Take a deep breath. You’ve got this”) as she and her mother, both portrayed with pale skin, battle snowy New York City streets and a crowded subway en route to the audition. After signing in among a bevy of children portrayed with varying skin tones, Gloria takes a wrong turn and stumbles onto backstage wonders: a room filled with pointe shoes, dancers at a costume fitting and—breathtakingly—a company rehearsal in progress. A fall tempers Gloria’s confident exuberance at the audition, but she soldiers on, demonstrating resilience. Glasser’s signature art style exudes Gloria’s love for dance, while a series of energetic spot illustrations delineate the slow passage of time as she awaits the important news. Slipping in a vocabulary lesson for “promise” as both potential and vow, the creators render a lively paean to passion and persistence via a sympathetic protagonist who knows that “This is where I want to be.” Ages 4–7. (Mar.)