Skip to content


Vintage Bookshelf :: Little Ballerina



When I was a little girl I was pretty darn shy. Most people find that hard to believe because I’m a pretty outgoing girlie (ask my family and they’ll say I’m a loud mouth, haha). BUT back in my shy-er days my mother put me in ballet lessons to help me come out of my shell. I LOVED dance class and recitals were totally thrilling. Satin and sequins? Yes please!

I had quite a few ballet themed books when I was little and one of my all time favorites was this one, by Dorothy Grider.

“Little Ballerina” is the story of a young girl namd Carol who has “weak legs”  (I think due to Polio). She can’t run and play with her friends so to strengthen her legs, she takes up ballet.

This sassy ballet teacher in her tunic and headband is fab.

I also totally love that the ballet class has some cool little guys taking dance. Check him out in his capri’s and stripey shirt!

I remember I looooooved her hair in these little circle braids. I went through a phase where I wore my hair like that—except I was 30 and not 10!

Carol ends up loving ballet and gets a starring role in the performance.


As a little girl I remember thinking, “I would DIE if I had to be the bumble bee!! I want to be a flower!”

Now as a grown up I have to say these little dudes are so cute! The story tells how “Jack Frost” leaps into the woodland scene and tries to freeze the flora.

Lovely Carol appears and charms Jack Frost and they dance off happily ever after!

This is EXACTLY what I looked like as a little girl. Well, in my mind I looked like this….

It was such a charming book. I loved all the costumes so much. Dorothy Grider wrote several other awesome books. I remember my cousin (yes, the one I made buy the Donny Osmond doll) had A Little Majorette which was also fab. It too involved a little girl who had weak legs—apparently a common theme with ol Dorothy. She also wrote, Little Swimmers, Little Horseman and Little Skaters. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that I think each involved a little child who had “bad legs”.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Posted in Vintage Books.


22 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

  1. Dottie says

    ZOMG! I LOVED that book! Alix–you are killing me with this! I totally forgot about the weak legs bit. That part about the weak legs is so bizarre and not really children’s book material, but still fabulous!

  2. Virginie says

    i love your vintage book posts SO MUCH. this one is dreamy! i had a ballerina phase around the age of 5, and in my mind i pretty much looked like the girl pictured above too!

  3. andrea says

    omg alix! am currently making a list for my list project that’s all about the books I loved as a kid and ‘little majorette’ is totally on my list! still have it, by the way. :) and man, if I’d known anything about the little ballerina book, I would have been aaaaaaall over it!

    xo

    • Alix says

      YES!!!!!!! I’ve been keeping a list too…..I love you have the Little Majorette!! You’ll have to guest post some day (if you ever have time!) on your fave books!!! xoxo

  4. jungle dream pagoda says

    I totally HAVE this book…unfortunately my copy has some images cut out.
    I wanted to frame some of the uncut pages but neither of my girls were ballerina types (even though they BOTH dance…go figure…). I am do glad her legs got strong enough to bust out the lead!

  5. HC says

    I loved this book as a little girl … a beautiful memory!

  6. Kirsty says

    I just found my copy of this book yesterday, and read it to my 5 year old. She loves it just as much as I did when I was her age. I used to have it read to me every day, and loved the tutu’s!

  7. leslie jones says

    I have been looking for this book for years! Im 40 now and i loved this book when i was little. I couldnt remember the name though. It was awesome to be able to look through the book again. I ll persue getting my own vintage copy.

  8. Sparkina says

    I had Little Ballerina as a child and loved it. I thought the weakness in her legs was from an accident.
    Just one nitpick, The little dancer girl’s name was CAROL, not Cindy.
    BTW, I also had and loved LITTLE SWIMMERS(Mom got it for me as a gift when I started swimming lessons.) The swimmers of the title were a sis and bro (maybe twins) named Julie and Timothy, and as far as I recollect, their legs were just fine and they just wanted swimming lessons :)

    • Alix says

      Yes!! It was totally Carol (not sure why I had Cindy on the brain??). I’d love to read Little Swimmers!

      • Sparkina says

        Maybe you had Cindy on the brain because carol’s fancy hairdo reminded you of Cindy Brady from the TV show The Brady Bunch :-)

      • Sparkina says

        Ooops. I think I know where you got Cindy from. I saw a scan of a page of Little Ballerina, and Carol’s PUPPY was named Cindy

        • Alix says

          AHhh! That’s it! haha. (or your first comment is probably right….maybe Cindy Brady was on my brain!)

          I just saw a copy of The LIttle Majorette yesterday at my friends house. SO cute!

  9. Dottie says

    Thanks for the reminder about this book. Now that Ms. Peach is in the middle of a serious ballet phase, I need this get book!

  10. Jillian says

    I have this book, and it has such fond memories attached to it. My grandfather would read this to me every time I stayed at his house. It was one of my favorite books as a child!

  11. Pinksuedeshoe says

    Miss Dottie just sent me over here from instagram. I loved this book so much. I checked it out from our BookMobile (library inside a bus for small library-less towns) over and over. I just got Little Swimmer in the mail today. Thank you for posting so many pictures! I love Love LOVE! this book. :)

    • Dottie says

      I’m so glad you love that book too and I’m tickled pink you came and checked it out. Alix and I both loved that book so much! We are tickled pink it has another fan in you!

  12. Melissa Mae says

    This was one of my favorite books when I was little! The illustrations really stood out to me, and for some reason, I thought the idea of a yellow tutu was amazing! For years I couldn’t find this book. I never paid attention to the title when I was little. My sister finally found it online (at $45!!!) so I’ll have to save my pennies!

  13. Shesha says

    I assumed the weak legs were a reference to polio since children could have still suffered from it.

  14. Pam Sohan says

    OMG !! I LOVED this book when I was a little girl. I had the Giant edition. Now that I know the author/illustrator and the printer I’ll be scouring flea markets and thrift and antique stores.

  15. JD says

    WOw! I remember this book from my childhood I recognized the cover and pictures immediately it brings back memories!The little ballerina

Continuing the Discussion

  1. 64, 63 and the ballet linked to this post on March 30, 2014

    […] Beast.  When I was a little girl, I so wanted to be a ballerina.  My favorite book was called:  The Little Ballerina.  I looked like the child in the book and have clear memories of dreaming of doing what she was […]



Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.