cover image One Ballerina Two

One Ballerina Two

Vivian French. HarperCollins Publishers, $13.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-688-10333-0

Ormerod's ( 101 Things to Do with a Baby ) mastery of the art of simplicity is affirmed in this pleasingly unpretentious counting book. Accompanying French's spare text are alternating pictures of a sophisticated young ballerina in a neat black leotard and of a frisky, younger ballerina wearing wrinkled clothing and untied dancing shoes. ``Ten plies'' performed flawlessly by the former are followed by ``nine knee bends'' shakily executed by the latter. Eight graceful changements inspire ``seven little jumps,'' and so on until the countdown culminates in ``one happy hug,'' as the older dancer holds the younger tenderly in her arms. Accentuating the contrast between the two ballet styles is the fact that a traditional typeface describes the accomplished dancer's steps, whereas a child's scrawl identifies the diminutive dancer's moves. This is an amiable pas de deux that very young aspiring ballerinas will applaud. Ages 3-up. (Oct.)