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Deer Dancer

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3.43  ·  Rating details ·  213 ratings  ·  42 reviews
In this mesmerizing picture book from the author of the New York Times bestselling Stars, a young ballerina finds dancing inspiration in the natural world.

There’s a place I go that’s green and grass,
a place I thought that no one knew—
until the deer came.

This gorgeous picture book from celebrated author Mary Lyn Ray features luminous and evocative art from Lauren Stringer a
...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published May 6th 2014 by Beach Lane Books
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Calista
How did people perfect dance? Did they watch the animals to learn new postures? This girl is in a ballet lesson where she is told to listen with her cheekbones. Tilt her head like she has antlers. After class she likes to dance in a grassy meadow in the middle of the woods. While there a deer visits her and they dance together.

There isn't a big story. There is imagery, movement, magic and mystery here. The kids weren't too interested in this. The niece enjoyed the dance part. This was more my cu
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Kristine Hansen
Aug 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful way to look at dancing! Girl meets deer and sees in the deer's fluid movements, the ballet that her teacher has been showing her. Here she practices with her newfound friend, learning how to move as a deer does. Creative and beautiful, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and recommend it for sharing with any little girl that loves to dance.
Kathryn
Lovely! Shows both the natural spirit of dance and the related (yet more practiced discipline) steps of ballet.
Niki (Daydream Reader)
Sep 20, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014, dancing
It would be fun to pair this book with Flora and the Flamingo.
Evie
Sep 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing


There's a place I go that's
green and grass,
a place I thought that no one
knew-
until the day
a deer came.


A young girl is dancing. She's wearing a pink tutu and purple leggings. There are bright yellow flowers in her hair. Her dance teacher said: "Hold your head as if you're wearing antlers", "Listen with your cheekbones" and "Look with the eyes in your shoulders." But the girl can't match the teacher's level of skill yet, so she goes to a place that's "green and grass" (a meadow in the woods near
...more
Christine Turner
In this mesmerizing picture book from the author of the New York Times bestselling Stars , a young ballerina finds dancing inspiration in the natural world.

There's a place I go that's green and grass, a place I thought that no one knew-- until the deer came.

This gorgeous picture book from celebrated author Mary Lyn Ray features luminous and evocative art from Lauren Stringer and will capture the hearts of young dancers everywhere.


Subject: Deer -- Juvenile fiction
Dance -- Juvenile fiction
Sarah Harmon
Deer Dancer is a sweet little book about a girl who spends her time out with nature. This little girl was involved in a ballet class and when she was practicing, deer came and danced with her.
I love this little book. It really ignites your imagination. The illustrations are so beautiful and full of life and color.
I think this book would be a good one to have in my classroom. Its a nice easy read that is really relaxing to the mind.
Cheryl
Dec 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars rounded up. Not nearly as 'fey' or 'frou-frou' as some reviewers claim. I'm not into that stuff, or ballet, but I enjoyed this very much. I would have liked to have seen the results of what the girl learned from the deer - did she just gain more comfort and confidence, or did she take her developing grace back to the studio and have more success?
Lizzie
Jul 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Okay, I'm going to read this a second time and try not to think about True Detective.

UPDATE: This magical moment is brought to you by nature! The swirly painted forest adds to the magical vibe of the forest. I got a wee "The Little House" by Virginia Lee Burton vibe - probably all that roundness with the subject as the focal point. COOL VIBES!
Sharon
Feb 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
I love green. I love this book. The green in this book is beautiful and uplifting and makes me want to dance too. What a sweet book. If you have a young child who is movement centered and loves to dance, this could be a book for them! THE green in this book just makes me want to dive into it...
Angie Quantrell
Apr 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
kim
Dec 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015, kids, picture
kindergartener likes it more than me. it has ballet, a girl in a pink skirt, and dancing. I thought it was a little too poetry-like frou frou, but admit most people would like the comparison of the deer's movements to dancing.
Kifflie
Jul 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A young ballerina practices her dance in the woods and meets up with a deer, who helps her find even more beautiful music in her head. The greens and browns in the illustrations are spectacular, and there is a real sense of music and dance.
Samantha
Dancing inspired by nature. A young dancer learns to mimic the movements of the elegant deer in her dance class and shares a stage of grassy green with the creature itself.

Text and acrylic paint illustrations perfectly mirror one another in lyrical beauty. Good read aloud for PreK-2.
Mary
This is an incredibly poetic story about a girl who is learning to be a ballerina and finds a special place in the woods where a deer helps her learn. It is a little abstract, so it might take some getting used to, but the pictures are gorgeous and peaceful.
Ann
Nov 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Top Ten Arts Books for Youth 2014 (Booklist)
Vicki
Jul 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture
A unique combination of a girl who dances and a deer in the woods. Some how this book works. The illustration are lovely and somehow comforting.
Lara
Aug 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A gorgeous book about the grace in nature and our connection to it. This would work well for a nature or dance storytime.
Mckinley
May 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: heroine, animal, picture
Learning ballet leads to dancing with deer.
Thuy
Mar 30, 2016 rated it liked it
reads like a poem. a little too deep for my DD TO really understand it, but the illustrations were beautiful
Anessa
Jun 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Beautiful and fun!!!!!
Jillian Heise
Oct 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A beautifully illustrated and rhythmically told story of a girl who is inspired to improve her ballet dancing by the graceful movement of a deer.
Jennifer
Nov 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Pretty pictures, but the story is just ok.
Brittany
Aug 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
I think I would have appreciated this more if I had ever done dance.
Librariansteph
Pretty.
Ann Williams
Jul 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry, picture-book
An interesting read, not quite sure how we could use it, perhaps in poetry workshop. The illustrations were lovely.
Sara
Jul 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: deer, dance, preschool
I really love the giant pages/illustrations. A little serious for story time, but could work in a dance-specific story time, esp. for my humongous groups.
Holly
Jul 25, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: carson-s
I thought both the words and the illustrations were just beautiful.
Karen
What nature teaches about grace and concentration. A nice encounter between dancer and deer.
Nicole
Jun 30, 2014 rated it did not like it
The sentence syntax and some of the scene jumps are a bit strange, making it awkward to process while reading.
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Mary Lyn Ray is a conservationist and author of several picture books for children. She was born in Louisiana in 1946 and grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas. Ray has lived in New England since 1964, when she first came east to attend college. She currently lives in a 150-year-old farmhouse in South Danbury, New Hampshire, which she restored herself.
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