Here is a list of feet-tapping, rhythmic children’s dance books. The picture books are perfect for toddlers and preschoolers to break into a round of adorable routines. Positive dance stories are a perfect inspiring read for elementary readers. Also included are dance histories and captivating real stories for tweens and middle schoolers.
dance books For toddlers to tweens – 2-12 Years-Olds
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Toddlers & Preschoolers
Stomp, Wiggle, Clap, and Tap a perfect book for dance-loving toddlers. Children can follow the steps and move along with the story. The book is interactive and fun.
(Ages 0-3 years)
Barnyard Dance! Join the barnyard crew for a round of square dance. With simple, adorable illustrations and rhyming feet-tapping words, this book is perfect for babies to preschoolers.
Join in the bunny, duck, cow, chicken, and other barn animals for the fun. Just follow along and make your own tune as you read aloud to your child. (Ages 1-4 years)
Rap a Tap Tap is about African-American tap dancer, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson- one of the most popular entertainers of the 1920s-30s.
This award-winning picture book is perfect for a read-aloud. The language is easy and as fun and vibrant as tap-dancing itself. (Ages 1-4 years)
How Do You Dance? by Thyra Heder is an emotive story, telling the kids that dance is all about self-expression. And everyone expresses differently. It is all about moving. The story is about a boy who refuses to dance with others.
The illustrations are eye-catching with multicultural images. There are even a few dinos, horses, and robots included. A simple and sweet book for toddlers and preschoolers.
(Ages 3-7 years)
Kitchen Dance Join a sweet family with parents and two adorable kids as they make the regular moments special. Two small kids wake up in the middle of the night hearing beautiful musical sounds coming from their kitchen.
As they peek in, they see their parents dancing while sharing the daily chores. The kids join in. It is a simple and sweet read celebrating being a family through dancing. The text is rhythmic.
(Ages 4-7 years)
Mina’s Rain Dance by Sarah McAneney is the story of a young girl Mina, who is a terrible dancer. She meets Mr. Brady, who has lots of unsold umbrellas due to drought. Mr. Brady is sad that he can not afford Christmas gifts for his young kids.
Read on how Mina solves the problem creatively through her dancing. This book has a positive message for young kids to be compassionate and kind.
(Ages 3-7 years)
Let’s Dance! Read about different dance forms from across the globe. From the cha cha of Cuba to the stepping of Ireland – all are included.
The book features a diverse group of children in their beautiful costumes, from around the world. Follow along with the rhyming text, as children pin, tap, groove, slide, and leap across the pages. (Ages 3-7 years)
Boys Dance! is created in partnership with the American Ballet Theatre. Showcasing male dancers, the book tells that ballet is for everyone. The illustrations present various boys of different ages and ethnicities in many dance moves.
It is a joyful read urging readers to break barriers and follow any passion their heart wishes to. (Ages 3-7 years)
Jingle Dancer by Cynthia L Smith brings Native American culture to life. Young Jenna wants to do jingle dancing like many women in her community. But her dress does not have enough jingles to make the sound.
Read on how her entire community comes together to realize the child’s dream. The words are lyrical along with beautiful watercolor artwork, making this perfect for a read-aloud. (Ages 4-8 years)
Brontorina Everyone can dance. No problem is too big on the way to achieve one’s dream of dancing, as shows the lovable dinosaur Brontorina in this book.
The character of the dinosaur is adorable with admirable determination. The book is quite simple with only a few words. It is a suitable read for toddlers and above.
(Ages 4-8 years)
Firebird by Misty Copeland has a positive image for children who do not fit in the stereotypical image of a dancer. Through this story, Misty Copland shows how one can overcome covert discrimination and achieve heights with grace.
(Ages 4-8 years)
My Story, My Dance is the biography of Robert Battle, artistic director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. As a small boy, Robert was wearing leg braces. Starting to dance only at the teenage, he became passionate about dancing.
With sheer determination and support from his family and teachers, Robert excelled in dance. The journey took him to be the artistic director of the academy that inspired him. This inspirational read is suitable for elementary students.
(Ages 5-10 years)
The Barefoot Book of Ballet Stories narrates the stories behind some of the most popular ballets. The stories covered are Coppelia, Swan Lake, Cinderella, The Nutcracker, and a few more.
The illustrations by Rebecca Guay are powerful and bring the dance forms alive in the pages. Each story also has a short introduction and history about the ballet mentioned.
(Ages 8-12 years)
How They Became Famous Dancers: A Dancing History Read the story of twelve famous dancers from different parts of the world – from Louis XIV in 1638 to Arthur Mitchell in the present. The book includes six men and women.
Each chapter features the story of the dancer from birth through childhood to his or her journey of becoming a great dancer. The book touches on different cultures through the context of dance, accentuating body movement, facial movement, rhythms, sound, music, poetry, lighting.
The pictures, stories, history – make this book a perfect choice for dance-loving middle graders and above. (Ages 12-14 years)
Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina by Michaela DePrince is the story of the author’s journey from an orphan in war-torn Sierra Leone to ballet stardom. Abandoned as a child and raised in an orphanage with a skin condition, Michaela was adopted by an American family.
Her life took a turn when she enrolled in a ballet class. Her dream made her the youngest principal dancer with the Dance Theatre of Harlem, and she appeared in many news and shows.
An inspiring read for middle graders and early teens. (Ages 12-15 years)