Carol Gray with her dog, Fonzie

Carol Gray


In 1967, Carol Gray wrote the rhyming bedtime story, Tina the Ballerina, for her two young daughters, Lisa and Gail. The girls so loved the story that reading it aloud became a nightly family ritual. Carol added another dimension to the story by applying her artistic and seamstress skills to create elaborate illustrations. She painted backdrops, constructed sets, and tailored costumes for Tina (a stuffed elephant) and Betsy Anne (a baby doll). She photographed her scenes and bound them into an album with the story’s text. Carol went on to create matching outfits for her daughters cementing forever the story’s place in their treasured family memories.

Carol and her daughters now take great pleasure in sharing with you and your children the beloved story of Tina the Ballerina and its enduring message of the value of friendship. In the fifty years since Carol created the accompanying illustrations, her original photographic scenes have faded with time. Illustrator Steve Ferchaud, however, has meticulously studied Carol’s original photographs to replicate her characters, the scenes, her costumes, and even the fabrics as she originally conceived them. Coupled with Carol’s original text, Steve’s beautiful illustrations bring back to life this timeless and enchanting story.

Tina the Ballerina