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In her debut picture book, Misty Copeland tells the story of a young girl—an every girl—whose confidence is fragile and who is questioning her own ability to reach the heights that Misty has reached. Misty encourages this young girl's faith in herself and shows her exactly how, through hard work and dedication, she too can become Firebird.

Lyrical and affecting text paired with bold, striking illustrations that are some of Caldecott Honoree Christopher Myers's best work, makes Firebird perfect for aspiring ballerinas everywhere.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399166150
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 09/04/2014
Pages: 40
Sales rank: 127,213
Product dimensions: 11.20(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range: 5 - 8 Years

About the Author

Misty Copeland didn't take up ballet until age 13, but by age 17, she was a professional. She was appointed ABT soloist at age 24, their first African American soloist in two decades. Driven by her newfound passion for the art, which she discovered at her local Boys & Girls Club, Misty accomplished so much in such a short amount of time through good old-fashioned hard work, discipline and unwavering belief in herself. 

Christopher Myers is the award-winning author and illustrator of Caldecott Honoree Harlem and Coretta Scott King Honorees Black Cat and Horse. Myers has also won three Boston Globe-Horn Book Honors and a New York Times Best Illustrated Award.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Praise for FIREBIRD:

An NPR Best Book of 2014
An Amazon Best Book of the Month, September 2014
An Amazon Best Book of 2014 — Ages 6-8

Essence Magazine Best Children's Book of 2014

“The language soars into dizzying heights of lyrical fancy… Myers’ artwork... pulsate[s] with kinetic synergy… A starscape filled with visual drama and brilliance.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Ballet dancer Misty Copeland makes her children's book debut with this inspiring love letter to young people, containing breathtaking illustrations of airborne dancers by Caldecott Honor artist Christopher Myers… Brava!”—Shelf Awareness, starred review

"An inspirational picture book for children daunted by the gap between their dream and their reality."—Booklist

“A poetic dialogue between an aspiring young dancer and the American Ballet Theater’s soloist comprises the text of this stunning picture book… which feature[s] full spreads bursting with color and excitement… A very successful collaboration.” —School Library Journal

“[A] soaring debut picture book by American Ballet Theater star Misty Copeland… Myers’ extraordinary artwork captures the mystique of the Firebird ballet and Copeland’s indomitable spirit. This is a tale that will inspire all up-and-comers.” —BookPage

“Scenes of an older dancer guiding a young student… reinforce the feeling that Copeland is speaking directly to readers… Myers paints portrait after portrait of Copeland dancing, placing the images against collages of colored paper whose curves, sunbursts, and radiating rays echo the rhythms of the dancers' movements… a strong impact.”—Publishers Weekly

“Firebird celebrates optimism—the mentality that you will succeed if you set your mind to it. And we think that’s a pretty darn awesome message.”—Dance Spirit

“World-renowned ballerina Copeland shows that the power and grace she displays on the stage translates to the page as well, paired with Myers' strong illustrations.”—HuffPost Books

“American Ballet Theatre soloist Copeland is just as graceful with words as she is with her body… Myers’s stunning collages layer strips of thickly painted paper to echo the wings of a firebird (Copeland’s signature role), whether they are illustrating the stage curtains or a cloudy sky… This book encourages today’s aspiring dancers of all colors and backgrounds.”—The Horn Book 

“Misty Copeland’s first children’s book is destined to become a staple in classrooms and libraries… Copeland’s empowering words are matched by award-winning illustrator Christopher Myer’s dazzling red and gold hues.”—Essence Magazine

“Vivid and emotional. Copeland's writing and Myers' art draw you into a beautiful world, rich with color, texture and drama. For all budding young artists who maybe don't have role models they can relate to, this little book provides some inspiration.”
NPR Staff Picks, For Art Lovers, Kids’ Books


Customer Reviews

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Firebird 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
SusanmgMI More than 1 year ago
A friend brought this to a meeting of a music fraternity and read it aloud. It is glorious. Poetry in motion, just like Misty's dancing. The illustrations are colorful, sweeping, and perfect with Misty's poetry. A sample phrase? She tells her young]g friend that "Your beginning is just beginning." Isn't that true of all of us, at any age, learning something new?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just caught part of a tv interview of misty copeland and wanted to know more. But WHY is there no free sample ? ? ?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Misty Copeland and I kinda like have a connection with ballet as ballerina's??. I ? Misty Copeland!!