Valerie Gladstone

VALERIE GLADSTONE is a biographer of George Balanchine, and has been writing about the arts for twenty years. She has published articles on dance in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Travel & Leisure, and Dance magazine. She lives in New York City.

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Q & A

Where did you grow up?

Long Island


What is your earliest memory of writing/drawing?

I painted a purple and red cloudscape when I was 6 and wrote my first poem when I was 13 about the woods near my house.


What inspired you to write/illustrate your first book?

Wanting to know about ballet and the ballet world.


Do you use your childhood as inspiration?



What books from your childhood have most influenced your work? What about adult titles?

Children’s: The Three Musketeers, Black Beauty, Two Years Before the Mast, Cry, The Beloved Country

Adult: The Red and the Black, Anna Karenina, Passage to India, Lolita, Love in the Times of Cholera, All the Pretty Horses


What are your hobbies and interests besides reading and books?

Travel, jazz, attending dance and theater performances, working out.


What one or two words of advice would you give for young authors/illustrators?

Think like a child


by the author

A Young Dancer

Valerie Gladstone; photographs by José Ivey
Henry Holt / Christy Ottaviano Books

Meet Iman Bright, a thirteen-year-old student at the prestigious Ailey School in New York City. Iman is passionate about dance, but she also enjoys drawing,...

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