Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Darcey Bussell and World Book Day

Tomorrow, 4th March 2010, children nationwide will be celebrating annual World Book Day, with the opportunity of exchanging a free voucher for one of a selection of £1 flip-books published especially to mark the occasion. This year, HarperCollins Children’s Books are delighted to announce their World Book Day read, a special story entitled Magic Ballerina: The Magic Dance, which introduces prima ballerina Darcey Bussell’s book series to a host of new readers.

The Magic Ballerina series, launched in October 2008, is a highly collectible series for readers aged 5-8 who love dancing and dressing up! So far, Delphie, Rosa, and Holly have had adventures with the pair of magic red ballet shoes that transport the wearer to Enchantia, a land where all the characters from famous ballets live. Now it’s time for the shoes to be passed to a new girl, and Holly is tasked with finding the right person…

The Magic Dance – World Book Day £1 flip-book, published 4th March 2010
Jade loves street dancing, but could Holly persuade her to give ballet a go and take over possession of the magic red ballet shoes? Meanwhile, in Enchantia King Rat is up to mischief again. He’s banished the First Cuckoo of summer and disguised himself as King Tristan to play havoc at the palace. Can Holly save her friends from his dastardly ways one more time?

The series continues with three new stories starring Jade, complete with collectible stickers inside each book!

Jade and the Enchanted Wood - £3.99, published 4th March 2010
A mysterious package arrives for Jade – inside are a pair of red ballet shoes. Jade is curious, so she heads to Madame Za-Za's ballet school… and is suddenly whisked away to the magical world of Enchantia! King Rat wants to build a fun fair in the Enchanted Wood and throw out all the people who live there. Can Jade protect them from his evil plans?

Jade and the Surprise Party - £3.99, published 4th March 2010
It's the White Cat's birthday! Everyone in Enchantia is planning the perfect party but something seems to be going wrong – guests keep disappearing. And there's a mysterious photographer who might not be who she seems… Can Jade solve the mystery or will the party turn into a birthday disaster?

Jade and the Silver Flute - £3.99, published 29th April 2010
Precious things have been going missing in Enchantia in the lead up to a very special ceremony. Is someone trying to thwart the First Fairy and banish birdsong from Enchantia? Jade and the White Cat must unravel the clues before it's too late!

“I wanted to inspire every little girl who wants to be a dancer, to fire their imagination about the joys of being on the stage.”

Darcey Bussell in an interview for You Magazine

Appealing to parents as a great role model, and to young girls as a huge inspiration, international ballet star Darcey Bussell helped to launch the series in October 2008 with a special UK visit from her Sydney home, which included bespoke Magic Ballerina dance class events in London and at the Cheltenham Literary Festival, book signings, media appearances on TV, and numerous print and online interviews. The series has so far sold more than 210,000 copies in the UK and more than 414,000 copies worldwide in ten different languages.

Darcey Bussell and HarperCollins have created the Magic Ballerina series in collaboration, working alongside an experienced author. Darcey was inspired by her two young daughters, and wanted to recreate something of the magic of theatre for little girls everywhere: “[My daughters have] seen me dance, and for any child walking into a theatre the magic created is like being in another world.”

Darcey Bussell, Press Association interview

This sparkly series will enchant all young girls who dream of becoming a ballerina, or who simply love fairytales and dressing-up. Featuring favourite characters from the world of ballet – including the Sugar Plum Fairy and Cinderella – the series also has a wonderful this-could-be-you element through a group of down-to-earth, loveable and dependable main characters.

And in case you didn't know, a little about Darcey :

Darcey Bussell is a world famous Prima Ballerina. She joined the Royal Ballet School when she was 13 and, despite starting later than most of the other students, became a Principal of the Royal Ballet at just 19, at the time the youngest ballerina ever to be given this honour. Darcey received both the OBE and CBE awards during her time with the Royal Ballet, and after officially retiring in 2007 she teamed up with Katherine Jenkins in the phenomenally successful Viva la Diva musical. She is married with two daughters and splits her time between London and Australia. In autumn 2009 she appeared as a special guest judge on BBC2’s Strictly Come Dancing and gave a special performance on the show.


  1. Aren't these books just darling!
    I adore Darcy Bussell and think one of the funniest things I have ever, ever seen was her appearance on The Vicar of Dibley.
    She is clearly a jolly good sport.
    Lovely post Elise, as always!
    Hope you are well.

  2. Hi Wendy - thanks for you comment. I have read every one of these books, before I give them to my niece, and although they are not aimed at me, I find them adorable and inventive. I agree, Darcey is a good sport and it's one of the reasons why she's done so much for ballet in terms of broadening the appeal. And in many ways, she still is, especially with these books.

  3. We are doing world book day tomorrow at school...I'm going as Goldilocks.....just trying to find something to wear!!!!!!!

    Great books...I love Darcey...xx

  4. My most wonderful memories are of My Father taking me to the Sadler Wells Ballet in Houston, Texas. We went back stage and I met the beautiful Ballerina. I was 10 and it was every year till I was sixteen.It's a beautiful book


  5. Andrea - thank you

    melmel - how exciting. Hope it goes brilliantly.

    La petite gallery - I always love it when people are prompted to share one of there memories here. Thank you ! Yours sounds just wonderful.

  6. What darling books, thanks for sharing these treasures and for stopping by my blog! :)

  7. OceanDreams - they really are; I hope you get to read one of them...


If you've got this far and would like to leave a comment, well, YES YOU CAN.

I'd be delighted to hear from you & will respond when I can (I'm not glued to my computer so please be patient).

Please don't post spam, and constructive critique is the way to go if you want to post a comment which is anything less than nice ! Thanks.