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Swan Lake Library Binding – February, 1989


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The legend behind the ballet that has long captivated audiences is presented in storybook form. Siegfried is, of course, the headstrong prince who must choose a bride. Odette is the swan-maiden who appears to him on a moonlit night, captive of a cruel spell. The owl-magician who has her in thrall appears to make a mockery of their love, but the lovers, denied one another in life, plunge to the depths of the lake together--thus breaking the spell forever. In book form, as on the stage, this proves a magnificent story--an enchanted, romantic vision underlaid with powerful themes of good and evil, and of reality and illusion. Fonteyn's competent telling moves the plot along smoothly, but Hyman's illustrations--magical tableaux of mood and mystery, in which each detail and expression seem to have been perfectly attended to--make this extraordinary pas de deux soar. All ages.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-6-- Fonteyn's affection for Swan Lake is clear, especially in the interesting performance notes at the end of the book which include a sharp reminder to today's performers that Odette is more woman than swan. Although written in narrative form, the story of the doomed lovers and the evil magician is told with an eye on stage. The settings are described, the characters' movements are motivated, and the plot unfolds to its inevitable tragic conclusion. Unfortunately, Fonteyn does not trust the impact of the story and ends it with one of the rescued swan maidens spelling out the moral that "the power of real love is greater than all the forces of evil added together." Hyman's lush illustrations heighten the romance in night scenes awash in soft blues that contrast with the reality of the daytime and indoor scenes which almost glare with shades of yellow with green and red highlights. The idealized characters float through the tale in their good and evil forms. Details such as jewelry worn by the women of the court, wall sconces, and the ominous cloud formations contribute to the fairy tale atmosphere. Still available are Donna Diamond's Swan Lake (Holiday, 1980), a well-written full version with very ethereal gray and white illustrations, and Anthea Bell's more terse Swan Lake (Picture Book Studio, 1986) with watercolor illustrations by Chihiro Iwasaki. Many versions of the ballet plot are available in collections. This new Swan Lake , with its sophisticated color and design, picture book format, and straightforward telling, will appeal to a wide age range. --Amy Kellman, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 and up
  • Library Binding: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt Childrens Books (J); 1st edition (February 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152006001
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152006006
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 10.2 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,177,452 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By John W. Goldsborough on October 13, 2005
Format: Library Binding
The reviews for the Margot Fonteyn Swan Lake performance from the '60's with Nureyev, now available on DVD as well as video, are mistakenly appearing on Amazon as though they pertain to her children's book of Swan Lake. I just want to make it clear: Margot Fonteyn also wrote a book for children of Swan Lake. The reviews for her taped performance with Nureyev do not pertain to her children's book and should not be linked to it. I am writing this solely because I would like to make that clear, and I hope Amazon will fix the error. Thanks.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Pop Chips on November 3, 1999
Format: Library Binding
Margot Fonteyn and Trina Schart Hyman make a great team in this adaptation of Swan Lake. Fonteyn's balletic outlook and Hyman's artistic expression make this fable a great, valuable classic story. I especially love Hyman's drawing interpretation of Odile, known as the evil Black Swan, when she enters the palace to steal the Prince's heart. This would make a great gift for a child any age!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By panzerw@bellsouth.net on October 1, 1999
Format: Library Binding
Ballerina Margot Fonteyn's Swan Lake is a beautifully retold classic. The text is enchanting and the illustrations only add to the magnificence of this book. I highly recommend this book for all children.
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By Fielding on May 14, 2013
Format: Library Binding Verified Purchase
Beautifully illustrated book with lovely text. It tells us such a beautiful story. It is a book for children and adults.
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By Amanda Strauss on December 25, 2014
Format: Library Binding Verified Purchase
Fun story
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