cover image Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova

Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova

Laurel Snyder, illus. by Julie Morstad. Chronicle, $17.99 (52p) ISBN 978-1-4521-1890-1

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. (Aug.)