There isn't much Whoopi Goldberg hasn't done in life. She's become a successful actress and banked an Oscar. She's been a popular comedian for decades and now moderates ABC's daytime chatfest "The View."
Goldberg has now taken on the world of children's books and has written "Sugar Plum Ballerinas," a tale about a girl picked to be in a school recital. Read an excerpt of the book below and click here to check out more books from the "GMA" library.
I look at myself in my bedroom mirror—the mirror with little pink ballet shoes painted around it, which is on top of the dresser with the little pink ballet shoe drawer handles, which is beside the lamp with the little pink ballet shoes on the shade, which is next to my bed, which has—you guessed it—little pink ballet shoes on the comforter and pillowcases.
You might think the person who just moved into this room likes ballet. You would be wrong. My mom is the ballet-crazy one. Ever since I was born, she's had her mind set on one thing: turning me into a ballerina. She even stuck me with Petrakova for my middle name. Alexandrea Petrakova Johnson! The closest I've ever been to Russia is Atlanta. At least until we moved here to Harlem last week.
After I packed all my ballet stuff up, I told one of the Muscle Men Movers it would be okay if they lost that particular box. I even wrote lose this box on the side in purple felt pen in case they forgot.
But when Aunt Jackie dropped us off at our apartment on 123rd Street, there it was, right on top of the mountain of moving boxes in our living room. So out came the ballet mirror and the ballet lamp and the ballet comforter and the ballet pillowcases. They looked bad enough in my old room, but at least I'd gotten used to them there. My new room is a wall-to-wall ballet nightmare. The good thing is that we're way up above the street. Maybe if I put my fan just right, the ballet stuff will blow out the window.
Just as I think that, I look at the ballerina posters on the wall (all courtesy of Mama, naturally). There's Maria Tallchief, who danced with the New York City Ballet. Virginia Johnson, who was the prima ballerina of the Dance Theater of Harlem. Janet Collins, the first black prima ballerina of the Metropolitan Opera Ballet. They stare down from their frames with stern looks on their faces, their eyes fixed on me as if they can tell I'm thinking Bad Ballet Thoughts. The only person on my wall who's smiling is my idol, champion speed skater Phoebe
Fitz. Aunt Jackie gave me an autographed poster of her for my last birthday. Phoebe looks as out of place among all the ballerinas as I feel in my ballet-themed room. I imagine Phoebe giving me an encouraging wink; then I turn back to the mirror.
A skinny nine-year-old looks back at me. I have Mama's brown skin and my dad's mixed-up eyes—one is green and one is brown—and my hair is dark and wavy, just long enough to stick in a ponytail.
Phoebe Fitz is really strong. She does one hundred push-ups every day. I can only do twenty-three so far, but I'm pretty sure I can see arm muscles popping out already.
I look good, except for one major problem: I'm wearing a big old pink puff pastry, the tutu to end all tutus. Layers and layers of netting droop down to my knees. Little rhinestones sewn into the netting glint like diamonds in pink marshmallow cream. A row of pink roses marches around my waist, and silver ribbons flutter when I move.