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Children's Fiction Cats

My Cat Does Ballet

by (author) Robert Heidbreder

illustrated by Matt Schu

Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Initial publish date
Oct 2023
Cats, Friendship, Dance
Recommended Age
4 to 8
Recommended Grade
p to 3
Recommended Reading age
4 to 8
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2023
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2023
    List Price
    $10.99 USD

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


A boy shares his love of ballet with his cat in this adorable picture book that leaps and glides through ballet terms, famous dancers, and the special bond between a young dancer and his pet.

Some cats pounce, snooze, or climb up the curtains. But one boy has a pet cat that does ballet, jumping after flies in perfect grands jetés and gliding across floors with smooth glissades. Perhaps they can teach you and your cat to do ballet too! This joyful and hilariously illustrated story is a charming pas de deux for felines and their friends.

About the authors

Robert Heidbreder was born in Illinois but now lives in British Columbia. He has enchanted children with his joyful poems and rhymes for more than two decades. A former elementary school teacher (and winner of the Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence), he believes that children's love of silly and absurd combinations of words makes them natural poets. His books include Eenie Meenie Manitoba, Don't Eat Spiders, I Wished for a Unicorn, Drumheller Dinosaur Dance, Python Play, See Saw Saskatchewan, Crocodiles Say, A Sea-Wishing Day, Lickety-Split, Crocodiles Play, Shake-Awakes, Noisy Poems for a Busy Day, Black and Bittern Was Night and Song for a Summer Night.

Robert Heidbreder's profile page

Matt Schu is the illustrator of Cut!: How Lotte Reiniger and a Pair of Scissors Revolutionized Animation by C.E. Winters and My Cat Does Ballet by Robert Heidbreder. Due to growing up in the Pacific Northwest, he draws a lot of trees, houses, and cloudy skies. He lives with his cat in Portland, Oregon, and she can do an impressive tour en l’air. Visit him at

Matt Schu's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Using theatrical lighting in a limited palette of blues, oranges, and blacks, and with details etched with a strong graphic line, Schu sets the stage for a dramatic nighttime household performance. Prolific poet-author Heidbreder’s fanciful text is enlivened with the classic French terms for ballet moves. . . This friendly feline fantasy will be a fun and informative romp for ballet buffs and cat fanciers alike."


"Heidbreder’s simple text intersperses the names of various ballet moves, artfully demonstrated by the puss in question in rose-colored spotlights. Relying on a limited palette, Schu’s delightfully whimsical illustrations are cartoonish but realistic, a perfect match for the story. . . A fine, feline-centric introduction to the dance."

<I>Kirkus Reviews</I>

Other titles by Robert Heidbreder