The Cranky Ballerina by Elise Gravel

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Ada hates everything about ballet class, yet she still has to go! Arabesques? Grotesque! And then one Saturday, Ada pliés right out the door and into the hallway, smacking into someone who thinks her ungraceful moves are great!

In the tradition of Kevin Henkes’s Lilly books and Russell and Lillian Hoban’s Frances classics, Ada is a plucky little kid with her own way of thinking. Through Ada’s stubbornness and emotional honesty, author/illustrator Elise Gravel shows her understanding of how kids feel and why. She shows us that anger is normal and feeling our emotions leads to growth! This short, funny, energetic book—full of word bubbles that enhance visual literacy and Gravel’s signature vibrant illustrations—is a great choice for both reading aloud and reading independently for emergent readers.

Children who love ballet—and definitely those who don’t—will delight in this clever, subversive tale about a kid who has to do what she doesn’t like in order to discover what she loves.


About Elise Gravel

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Elise Gravel is the author/illustrator of I Want a Monster, Adopt a Glurb!, and the Disgusting Critters series. Elise lives in Montreal, Canada, with her husband, two daughters, and two cranky cats. Find her online at or on Twitter @elisegravel.
Published August 9, 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books. 32 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Cranky Ballerina

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With gravity-defying pigtails and a near-permanent scowl, Ada lives up to her description in the title of a book whose theme is less “practice makes perfect” than “follow your bliss.” Working in a pal

May 27 2016 | Read Full Review of The Cranky Ballerina

PreS-Gr 2—Saturdays are terrible—at least for Ada. They mean ballet class, and Ada "HATES" ballet. The irritable dancer pouts about putting on her "waaay too tight" leotard and tutu, all the while fussing about the bane of her existence. As the story progresses, readers understand why Ada hates b...

Jul 01 2016 | Read Full Review of The Cranky Ballerina