Tallulah's Toe Shoes
Illustrated by: Alexandra Boiger
Published by: Clarion, 2013
Copyright © Marilyn Singer 2013

Tallulah’s Toe Shoes

(excerpt)

Tallulah could stand like a ballerina. Tallulah could move like a ballerina, too. But Tallulah knew she’d never be a ballerina until she got a pair of pink satin toe shoes.

Ever since her ballet school’s performance of Sleeping Beauty, that was all she could think about.  Some of the older girls at the school danced on pointe–up on their toes in pointe shoes. One of them got to be the beautiful Lilac Fairy.  She wore a glittery tutu and a tiara.

Tallulah was a village girl.  She wore a short brown dress and carried a hoop of fake flowers.  She didn’t get to dance on her toes.  She got to sway.

“When can I get toe shoes?” she asked her mother right after the performance. “When you’re a little older,” her mother replied.

That’s not fair, Tallulah huffed silently.  The kids in tap class get their fancy shoes right away!

After class, she stomped into the dressing room.  The older girls were there, tying on their pointe shoes.  The Lilac Fairy was one of them. “Well, these are wrecked,” she said, studying her shoes.  “Good thing I brought a new pair.”  With a thud, she tossed the old ones into the wastebasket.

Tallulah’s mouth made an O.  She put her clothes on over her leotard and tights very, very slowly.

Soon she was the only one left in the room.  She darted over to the wastebasket and stared at the shoes.  They didn’t look wrecked.  They looked splendid.  I’ll show everyone just how ready I am, Tallulah told herself.  I will be the youngest dancer ever to dance on pointe.

Snatching the shoes, she stuffed them in her bag and ran out the door.