cover image Swan Lake

Swan Lake

Rachel Isadora. Putnam Publishing Group, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-399-21730-2

Isadora's (At the Crossroads ; Ben's Trumpet ) adaptation of Tchaikovsky's ballet gently blends the artistry of dance into this most romantic of scenarios. Graceful swans arc down toward the water under the watchful eyes of Siegfried; on the next spread they appear as a line of beautiful ballerinas shimmering in poised symmetry. Deep, liquid watercolors provide a brooding backdrop to the radiant maidens as they dance under the moon. The dark purples, blues and greens of the night sky are sharply cut by the orange streak of the rising sun, and instantly the maidens are returned to their sorrowful fate. The author's experience as a ballerina evidenced by the carefully rendered dance positions assumed by the characters, and would-be ballerinas will no doubt study them eagerly to emulate the replendant mystery of the story. Isadora eloquently demonstrates the interpretive power of dance, making this book an excellent introduction to the beauty of the ballet. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)