June Is Bustin’ Out All Over!

I keep humming this song from the play Carousel. June days are long. The weather is beautiful. The trees and plants are in full bloom.

Musical theater is so catchy. Songs from childhood shows (some from shows I performed, some from shows I watched) bubble up at the funniest times. Here are a couple of fun children’s books about the theater.

Oldie but Goodie

Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman, illustrated by Caroline Binch, is about a little girl who loves acting out stories. No character is off limits in Grace’s mind – she throws herself into the roles of Joan of Arc, Anansi the Spider, and Aladdin. When Grace’s teacher announces that the class will perform the play Peter Pan, Grace wants the lead. But her enthusiasm is dampened by her classmates’ skepticism that a black girl can take on this role.

With the support of her family and an outing to an inspiring dance performance, Grace follows her passion and tries out for the part of Peter Pan. Pegged for children ages 4-8.

New and Fabulous

Rifka Takes a Bow by Betty Rosenberg Perlov, illustrated by Cosei Kawa transports us back to the 1920s and a young Jewish girl grows up with an insider’s view of the Yiddish theater where her parents perform. Readers follow Rifka as she makes her way around the theater, through prop rooms and dressing rooms, trying on makeup and joking around with the actors, and finally ending up onstage where Rifka gets to perform herself. The pictures are wonderful, enveloping the reader in the magic of the theater. Pegged for grades K-3.

Share your favorite children’s books about the theater.

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