Age Range: 7 to 11
Series: Ballet Stories for Children Series
The stories of six ballets, including "Swan Lake," "Sleeping Beauty," and "Firebird."
From The Critics
Who better to pen a collection of classic ballet stories than a former principal dancer with the New York City Ballet? Verdy pulls out all the stops in this unabashedly romantic assembly of half a dozen of ballet's most famous and beloved stories. Coppelia , Sleeping Beauty , Swan Lake , The Nutcracker , Giselle , The Firebird --they're all here, and Verdy spins their tales with the assuredness of a natural-born storyteller. The accounts here are fresh, dramatic and lush with detail, and the prose is as graceful as a pas de deux. A short foreword to each story gives historical background, as well as occasional personal glimpses from Verdy's own dancing career. Highlighting scenes from each of the ballets, Caldecott medalist Brown's ( Shadow ; Once a Mouse ) dreamy, ethereal illustrations sustain the entrancing mood. This is required reading for all balletomanes. Ages 7-11. (Oct.)
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-- Although there are a number of retellings (both in and out of print) of the most frequently performed ballets, this collection by a former principal ballerina captures the tone and character of each dance. For example, the great ``white'' ballets, Giselle and Swan Lake , are told in the romantic tradition. Coppelia is given a more lighthearted and matter-of-fact treatment. The notes that precede each of the tales are most interesting for their history and insights. Brown's paintings, done in watercolor, pastel, and pencil, dress the pages with sets and costumes that readers might experience in live performances. Each story has three or four illustrations, not always well-placed, that depict the high points. One cavil--the fourth prince described in the text is missing from the scene of Aurora's birthday ball in Sleeping Beauty . This collection, which also includes The Firebird and The Nutcracker , will serve as a good written and visual introduction to six staples of the classical repertoire. --Amy Kellman, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh