cover image Firebird


Rachel Isadora. Putnam Publishing Group, $15.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-399-22510-9

Former ballerina Isadora (Swan Lake; Lili at Ballet) brings her dance training to bear on this distinctive version of the classic Russian folktale; here, the Balanchine/Stravinsky ballet is the chief source of inspiration. Fantastical watercolors in midnight-hued purples, blues and greens spiked with red and gold conjure up dramatic, unusually dynamic scenes. Pictured as dancers, Prince Ivan, a band of beautiful princesses, a sorcerer with his hideous demon apprentices and, of course, the dazzling Firebird-""half woman, half bird, with feathers bright as flames""-pose, frolic, leap and soar across the pages. Unabashedly romantic, Isadora's stately book is a treat for balletomanes and the uninitiated alike. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)