[George]: Hello. My name is George. It’s nice to meet you. I’m here to tell you all about today’s episode of Fun 4 the Disabled Children’s Books That Heal. Today’s book is called “Firebird” written by Misty Copeland and illustrated by Christopher Myers. This story follows a young ballerina dancer who’s unsure of herself but with the guidance of a mentor, finds the strength she needs to become a firebird. And now here’s Vanessa to introduce our reader for today.

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[Vanessa]: Thanks, George. I’m so excited to share this story with you all today! We’ll be reading “Firebird” written by Misty Copeland, a talented ballerina who made history as the first African-American principal dancer with the American Ballet Theater. The beautiful illustrations in “Firebird” are by Christopher Myers and the book was published by GP Putnam’s Sons.

Misty Copeland thanks Raven Wilkinson and other inspirational mentors who showed her that she can be an amazing ballerina despite feeling out of place in a traditionally White ballet world. Misty wrote this book to encourage other boys and girls who are finding their voices and fighting to achieve their dreams. We hope that this book will inspire you to be whatever you want to be. Let’s listen as actress Jamie Pavlofski reads “Firebird” by Misty Copeland.

[Jamie Pavlofski]: This is “Firebird” by Misty Copeland.

You are the sky and clouds and air. Your feet are swift as sunlight stretching across the skyline, like the daylong sun over the horizon.

Me? I’m gray as rain; heavy as naptime, low as a storm pressing on rooftops. I could never hope to leap the space between.

Darling child, don’t you know, you are just where I started. Let the sun shine on your face, your beginnings just begun.

Before the curtain rises, before the spotlight falls. Before the fireworks of costumes before, before at all I was a dancer just like you. A dreaming shooting star of a girl with work and worlds ahead.

There I am sweating at the bar, I had a thousand leaps and falls. Switching worn-out slippers swift as applause. Even birds must learn to fly. Like me, you’ll go steady in grace, spread an arabesque of wings and climb.

Each position, one through five, stairsteps of the sky? That’s right. You will soar; become a swan, a beauty, a Firebird for sure. Soon with the same practice, you’ll join me in this dancing dream. In a pas de deux, a music box for two, we will wrap our hearts careful as ribbons on pointe shoes.

We’ll make the night sky our starry curtain, the moon our silver spotlight as we spin across the planets, pirouetting tightly as the curls on our heads, spinning wishes for new little ones we can’t yet imagine.

Then they will look to you in wonder, lighter than air and swift is sunlight turning over the day, and say “The space between you and me is longer than forever and I will show them that forever is not so far away.”

[Vanessa]: What a wonderful story. Thank you, Jaime Pavlofski, for reading “Firebird” by Misty Copeland. Whenever you are struggling and feeling unsure about your dreams, remember Misty Copeland’s experience. You are not alone. Like Misty, you can find your wings. Thank you all again for watching today’s episode, “Firebird” by Misty Copeland. Here’s George the Puppet to close this out. Have a great day. Bye, bye!

[George]: Thanks for watching “Firebird”, written by Misty Copeland and illustrated by Christopher Myers. Okay, now when you’re feeling unsure about yourself, remember that confidence can help. Yes, you can achieve all your dreams and go far just like a light beam. You don’t have to do it on your own, look to others, because you are not alone. We are all a part of the same tree and success takes time, so persistence is key.

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