Balletball by Erin Dionne, illustrated by Gillian Flint. Charlesbridge, 9781580899390, 2020
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4
Genre: Picture book
What did you like about the book? Nini loves ballet and is not excited to play baseball, but over time comes to understand how baseball and ballet can be similar. It offers a great example of how a child can learn to accept (or even like) needing to do something they don’t initially enjoy. Nini initially needs support and ideas from her coach to help her view baseball in a more positive light, but by the end can do it more herself. It’s mostly a sports book, but would appeal to other readers as well. I really liked the diversity in the illustrations – Nini is not white and there is a diverse cast of side characters, including a woman wearing a hijab and a boy wearing a hearing aid.
Anything you did not like about the book. Nope
To whom would you recommend this book? I would especially recommend this book to caregivers or teachers to read with a child with limited interests as a way to positively open them up to try new things. It would also likely be enjoyed by sports fans, especially girls.
Who should buy this book? Elementary school librarians, public librarians
Where would you shelve it? Picture books
Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Sarah Bickel, Greenlodge Elementary School, Dedham Massachusetts
Date of review: April 11, 2020