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About The Book

In this mesmerizing picture book from the author of the New York Times bestselling Stars, a young ballerina finds dancing inspiration in the natural world.

There’s a place I go that’s green and grass,
a place I thought that no one knew—
until the deer came.

This gorgeous picture book from celebrated author Mary Lyn Ray features luminous and evocative art from Lauren Stringer and will capture the hearts of young dancers everywhere.

About The Author

Mary Lyn Ray is the author of many picture books for children. Her texts are often praised for their lyricism and emotional depth, and in her works, she frequently focuses on humankind’s relationship with nature. Among her critically acclaimed titles are StarsChristmas Farm, PumpkinsThe Thank You Book, and Go to Sleep, Little Farm.

About The Illustrator

Photo courtesy of the illustrator

Lauren Stringer has illustrated many celebrated picture books, including Deer Dancer by Mary Lyn Ray; The Princess and Her Panther by Wendy Orr; Scarecrow and Snow, both written by Cynthia Rylant; as well as her own Winter Is the Warmest Season, When Stravinsky Met Nijinsky, and Dark Was Done. She lives with her family in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Visit her at

Product Details

  • Publisher: Beach Lane Books (May 6, 2014)
  • Length: 40 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781442434226
  • Grades: P - 3
  • Ages: 4 - 8
  • Lexile ® AD490L The Lexile reading levels have been certified by the Lexile developer, MetaMetrics®

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Raves and Reviews

* "A young ballerina finds her muse in a woodland creature. . . . Ray's brief text lyrically sings of the beauties of dance and nature. Stringer's lush acrylic paintings depict the forest in sumptuous shades of sunshine yellow and emerald green, the girl and deer each captured in swirling scenes of graceful movement. . . . How wonderful to connect the structured world of ballet with the free-form world of an animal at play. An ode to joyous dance."

– Kirkus Reviews, April 2014, *STARRED REVIEW

"Feeling a bit discouraged about her skills as a dancer, a little girl finds inspiration in a magical encounter with a deer in a peaceful clearing.... Stringer’s artwork is nothing short of mesmerizing. The shades of green saturating the book are rich and energizing.... Ray's spare writing is lovely and appropriate in its quietness, reflecting the hushed awe and respect of the little girl for her dance partner and their stage. This is a spectacular book, celebrating the outdoors, dance, and the beauty inside each of us."

– School Library Journal, May 2014

* "This utterly charming tale begins with a girl dancing in a glen. Then a deer appears. . . . Ray's evocative text has a subtle message about listening to the music in your heart. On the page, the words whirl in tandem with the marvelous art that recalls picture books from an earlier time. . . . Yet this beautifully crafted piece of bookmaking never feels dated, but rather timeless. Together, children and adults will revel in this excursion to a world where all is possible when no one is looking."

– Booklist, May 2014, *STARRED REVIEW

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More books from this author: Mary Lyn Ray

More books from this illustrator: Lauren Stringer