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Nini loves everything about ballet--the sparkles, the costumes, the twirling! But in the spring there's only baseball practice. Baseball is nothing like ballet. Or is it?
Nini hates baseball. She hates that baseball is not ballet. She especially hates that Mom signed her up to play, but now she's stuck with the sport. Nini just can't bring herself to try. Her team starts to lose, but not even her teammates' disappointment will change her feelings. A pep talk from her coach and sparkly shoelaces help--a little. When Nini makes a game-winning catch using her ballet moves, she realizes that change might not be so bad after all, and ballet and baseball have more in common than she thought.
About the Author
Erin Dionne is the author of the picture book Captain's Log: Snowbound and several middle-grade novels, including Lights, Camera, Disaster and Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking, an Edgar Award nominee. Erin is an associate professor of liberal arts at Montserrat College of Art in Massachusetts.
Gillian Flint has worked as a professional illustrator since graduating with an animation and illustration degree in 2003. She illustrated Love You Always, Button and Bundle, and Hugga Bugga Love. In her spare time Gillian enjoys reading and spending time with her family.
Nini loves ballet—the leaps, the twirls, and the sparkly tutu. A week after her recital, she’s unhappy to hear that she will begin a new activity: baseball. From the uniform (no sparkles) to the equipment (“a lumpy brown glove”) to her position (outfield), she’s less than thrilled, and her attitude is unpopular with her teammates. After their patient coach explains that some professional athletes take ballet, Nini decides to try harder. And sure enough, the next time the opposing team hits a ball her way, she leaps, twirls, pliés, and makes the catch for the last out. Her team wins, and Nini renames the sport balletball. Flint offers a series of appealing watercolor-and-brush-pen scenes with fluid lines and pleasing use of color. The illustrations include a racially diverse cast of characters with different abilities (one uses a hearing aid, another wears glasses). While the story is a mix of reality and wish-fulfillment fantasy, young children are experts at combining the two. An optimistic, sports-themed picture book for aspiring ballet dancers.