Magic Ballerina: Delphie and the Magic Ballet Shoes (2009) By Darcey Bussell is the first book in the author/dancer/TV judge’s series of childrens’ books.
In this first book, the protagonist Delphie is asked by Madame Zarakova to join her ballet school. Delphie and her family can’t afford to send her but Madame Zarakova sees potential and gives her these battered but magical ballet shoes. As the book unfolds, we realise that these shoes will get her to the land of Enchantia where the characters in The Nutcracker are left unable to dance by Evil King Rat. Delphie finds herself on her first mission since acquiring the ballet shoes with the help of the Sugar Plum Fairy.
I find the plot very imaginative and cleverly put together. The way the class is practicing The Nutcracker and then that leads into the situation in Enchantia is very cleverly done. I love how Delphie is working-class and loves ballet, which would probably be thought by many as ‘above our station’, how the author shows that passion and hard work can get you anywhere from any background and how the ballet shoes are battered and old instead of shiny, glossy little things. There is a lot of great messages in this book for children and for any children who love ballet and dance it will very enjoyable I’m sure. Darcey also includes some dance steps at the back of the book.
There is a few technical ballet terms which might be difficult for children to understand but I think that is probably my only tiny issue with it. It is a great read for children and quite a good read for adults too!
A great start to the series.
To purchase Magic Ballerina: Delphie and the Magic Ballet Shoes By Darcey Bussell go to:
And for more about Darcey Bussell and her work go to: