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The Cranky Ballerina

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  446 ratings  ·  83 reviews
Ada hates everything about ballet class, yet she still has to go! Arabesques? Grotesque! And then one Saturday, Ada pliés right out the door and into the hallway, smacking into someone who thinks her ungraceful moves are great!

In the tradition of Kevin Henkess Lilly books and Russell and Lillian Hobans Frances classics, Ada is a plucky little kid with her own way of
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published August 9th 2016 by HarperCollins
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Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  446 ratings  ·  83 reviews

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Mar 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books

I really did not think I was going to like this book, which probably isnt the best way to start off this review, but Hey!its the truth. :) Cranky and grumpy stories for kids usually dont make me happy. Plus the word hate is not my favorite word to see in a picture book. There are so many other words to use and learnwhy use hate? But the word is definitely said and overused in our society, so maybe it is best to see it at play too.

Ada, our Cranky Ballerina, is off to ballet class with her monster
Vikki VanSickle
I love Gravel's distinctive style and sense of humour. In this latest offering a girl hates everything about ballet and finds her true calling...karate. There is a nice switch at the end where a boy in karate decides he'd rather be in ballet. This story is simply told and avoids being overly didactic.
"It's not her thing!"

God, I was the WORST parent. I was one of those who were like, "No, strawberries are GREAT, you like strawberries, just try ONE." Child had to try ONE strawberry until he was like seven and I was finally like, "Really? You really don't like strawberries? Huh!"

Similarly, Ada has to go to ballet class at the rec center every Saturday. She DOESN'T LIKE IT. It's ok! She's not being spiteful, she's not afraid of not doing it right, she's not embarrassed... it's just not her
Aug 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Exactly the kind of picture book I dig-bratty kid (but not too bratty) with fun and lively illustrations that begs to be read aloud.
An atypical ballerina story, good for those kids who have a bit more edge. I enjoyed the artwork and the twist that occurs when Ada discovers that dance might not be her ultimate creative outlet.
Amanda Skinner
Aug 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As a ballet school drop out, this book speaks volumes to me!
Rebecca Ann
Ada is a cranky little girl who is forced to go to ballet class, when really she should be in Karate! This is a great twist that encourages children to do what they love. I really enjoyed the ending with the little boy who hated karate (maybe he needs to be in ballet!)

*great for a ballet or preschool storytim
Thanks to Susan for sharing the f&g. Everybody's good at something, just a matter of finding out what and allowing it.
T.E. Antonino
Sep 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this picture book. The story has a twist you'll never see coming. I think the pictures really complemented the story. The story actually has a deeper meaning. Great book!
Jun 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Now that's my kind of ballet!
Michele Knott
Sep 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Find your own passion!
Aug 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Yay! A book for girls who don't want to be a princess-ballerina!
Sep 07, 2016 rated it it was ok
Not crazy about the gender stereotypes and would've liked to have seen the ballerina use her words instead of only cranky behavior.
Aug 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Sharon Tyler
Nov 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Cranky Ballerina is a picturebook written and illustrated by Elise Gravel. Ada hates everything about ballet class, yet she still has to go! Then one Saturday, Ada pliés right out the door and into the hallway, smacking into someone who thinks her ungraceful moves are great! Her mistake might just lead to a wonderful new adventure for Ada.

The Cranky Ballerina is another winner from Gravel. The illustrations are wonderful, and the thought bubbles keep the flow and energy of the book at a
This is an adorable picture book that tells the story of a little girl, Ada, who hates ballet class. Every Saturday she has too dress up in tight, uncomfortable clothes and try to learn to plie and pirouette. As she's pirouetting out of the room and into the hall she finds a way to start enjoying her Saturdays. This book would be great for anyone who has trouble fitting in and finding an activity that they enjoy. Humorous , cartoon-like illustrations help make this book a lot of fun!
Aug 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was so much fun!!!! Miss cranky pants, so many people do things that they don't want to do. Sometimes it is because they aren't very good at it or they don't enjoy it. She was doing something that she did not enjoy and was not any good at and stumbled into something that she did enjoy and may very well have been good at.

Fun for a story time and children.
Scott Robins
Dec 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Love the humour, the word balloon dialogue, the commentary from Ada's stuffed toy peppered throughout and the message that sometimes it takes a crash to find the right place to direct raw talent. Ada may have been a terrible ballerina but she's great at karate. Gender-breaking goodness and inclusivity all over.
Oct 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Elise Gravel is one of my favorite contemporary illustrators! This book has an adorable cranky ballerina who needs to find her true calling...and does so in a meaningful but funny way! She also has an indefinable sidekick which is just part of Gravel's charming style. You can tell she truly enjoys writing and illustrating. I'm happy she shares the fun with us!
Oct 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very fun, cute illustrations. lots of extra things to notice within the images. Ada's sidekick is great. The storyline was very cute. Ada is not happy at ballet, but stumbles into something she is happy doing. The message was good: not everything is for everyone and find something that you enjoy.
Sep 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Cute illustrations, and I love that this book sends a message that it's okay if you don't enjoy what lots of other kids your age like... just try something different!
Rebecca Renea
Sep 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very cute, love the simple artwork
Sep 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. So well done, great story and great illustrations too!!
Sep 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I don't rate a lot of kids books but this was just too good not to.
Stephanie Croaning
Dec 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books, 2016
Ada is a very cranky ballerina. Who can blame her? Her leotard is too tight, her tutu too itchy, and her arabesque is a complete fail. Can anything put a smile on her face?

The Cranky Ballerina
by Elise Gravel
Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, 2016
ISBN 978-0-06-235124-1
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 24 cm
Picture book, fiction
Interest Level: K-3; Reading Level: 1.5
3 out of 5 stars

This is the story of a young girl who is forced to go to ballet class every
Kris - My Novelesque Life
Written and Illustrated by Elise Gravel
2016; 32 Pages
Harper Collins
Genre: children's, picture book


Ada hates ballet and every Saturday she wakes up cranky. Then one Saturday when she tries a ballet move she spins out the door into a karate class. In karate her moves are great! A cute book about finding what you are good at doing. (Ages 3-6)
Jon Nakapalau
Apr 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A little girl is cranky because she does not like her ballet class. Is there another class that will be more to her liking? Helps children to understand that you have to try different things to find what you like to do.
Sep 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Ada hates ballet - and discovers she likes something else instead. A picture book about finding your passion.
Ria Mittal
May 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
In the Cranky Ballerina by Elise Gravel, the main character is a girl who is not surprisingly, quite cranky and she realizes its because she is not very good at ballet, yet she is a ballerina. She soon realizes that she was much better at Karate. This is a book that teaches children that they will be most happy with themselves and in life when they have found what they are good at. Also this thing and it can truly be anything meaning that girl can do karate and a boy could ballet. It is ...more
Feb 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: kids, fiction
I love the message that you can keep looking for an activity that fits you. I think kids need to know life doesn't have to be a slog until death. I got to teach my almost-four-year-old what the words "cranky" and "ballerina" mean. P.S. Gravel draws the cutest monsters.
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