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Swan
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Swan
The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova
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The world is big.Anna is small.The snow is everywhere and all around.But one night . . .One night, her mother takes her to the ballet, and everything is changed. Anna finds a beauty inside herself that...
The world is big.Anna is small.The snow is everywhere and all around.But one night . . .One night, her mother takes her to the ballet, and everything is changed. Anna finds a beauty inside herself that...
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Description-

  • The world is big.
    Anna is small.
    The snow is
    everywhere
    and all around.
    But one night . . .
    One night, her mother takes her to the ballet, and everything is changed. Anna finds a beauty inside herself that she cannot contain.
    So begins the journey of a girl who will one day grow up to be the most famous prima ballerina of all time, inspiring legions of dancers after her: the brave, the generous, the transcendently gifted Anna Pavlova. Beautiful, inspirational, and triumphant, Anna Pavlova's life is masterfully captured in this exquisite picture book.
 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • Laurel Snyder is the author of picture books, novels, and several collections of poetry. She grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, where she studied ballet at the Peabody Preparatory, Caryl Maxwell Ballet, and the Cultural Arts Institute. She now lives in Atlanta, Georgia, where she continues to dance, but mostly in her kitchen.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    July 20, 2015
    In spare, verselike prose, Snyder follows the life of Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova from her artistic awakening as a dancer to the height of her fame and her death in 1931. Morstad gives Pavlova the grace of a porcelain doll, whether she is dancing as she hangs clothing on a line (“Shirt, shirt, laundry./ Shirt, shirt, laundry”), honing her craft after being admitted to the Imperial Ballet School, or performing her signature role in The Dying Swan. Snyder emphasizes Pavlova’s determination and hard work throughout, as well as her belief that “ballet was for everyone” (“When people
    throw flowers, Anna tosses them back”). An author’s note expands on biographical details hinted at in this tender,
    delicate recounting. Ages 5–8. Author’s agent: Tina Wexler, ICM. Illustrator’s agent: Emily van Beek, Folio Literary Management.

  • Kirkus

    May 1, 2015
    A poor Russian girl enchants the world with her romantic ballet performances. Pavlova was born in Czarist Russia, the daughter of a laundry woman. When her mother took her to a ballet performance, she was spellbound. After waiting two years to be accepted, she rose through the ranks of the Imperial Ballet School despite having what was considered an imperfect body. She excelled in the great 19th-century romantic roles and made "The Dying Swan," with music from The Carnival of the Animals, by Camille Saint-Saens, her signature piece. Pavlova traveled around the world sharing her gift and teaching, passing up 20th-century ballets choreographed to modern music and always enchanting audiences with her incomparable style. Snyder writes in the present tense in a delicate and poetic voice that mirrors Pavlova's onstage persona. Morstad's art, a combination of ink, gouache, graphite, pencil, and crayon, evokes beautiful Russian cityscapes, while scenes set in a dance studio effectively make use of a white background to showcase a solitary dancing beauty. Falling snow and images of flowers and feathers reappear through the pages as motifs of Pavlova's childhood, her passion for dance, and her too-young death. Young ballet lovers will be smitten with the story. (author's note, bibliography, quotation sources) (Picture book/biography. 6-9)

    COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from September 1, 2015

    Gr 1-4-This tall, graceful picture book captures the artistic spirit, if not the entire biography, of one of the world's prima ballerinas. Pavlova's humble beginnings and early life in 19th-century tsarist Russia are merely hinted at, though spelled out more fully in an appended author's note. The spare, lyrical text instead offers imagery that is more poetic than concrete. For example, when the curtain rises on Pavlova: "She steps onto the stage alone.../and sprouts white wings, a swan./She weaves the notes, the very air/into a story.../Anna is a bird in flight, /a whim of wind and water./Quiet feathers in a big loud world./Anna is the swan." Morstad's artwork-done in ink, gouache, graphite, pencil, and crayon-is stylized and understated, with backdrops that suggest stage sets more than landscapes or domestic scenes. On nearly every page, the lithe and lovely figure of Pavlova appears, usually in motion, always the embodiment of beauty and grace. Even her illness and death are presented in a dramatic, theatrical manner-fitting somehow for someone who lived and breathed the stage. VERDICT An enchanting glimpse of a dancer whose name has come to be synonymous with her most famous role.-Luann Toth, School Library Journal

    Copyright 2015 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Chronicle Books LLC
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