Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ella Bella Ballerina and Her Fairy Tale Ballets

Ella Bella Ballerina and Cinderella by James Mayhew isn't new, first published in 2009, but I've never featured it or its companion titles on SurLaLune, so why not today? I would have regularly devoured these when I was in the intended audience age. I hungered for ballet books and imagery for years and used up the resources at my libraries and bookstores.

Book description from the publisher:

Ella Bella loves Madame Rosa's ballet class, which is held at an old theater that seems touched by magic. One day, when Ella loses one of her slippers, Madame Rosa lends her another pair for dancing--and is then reminded of Cinderella and her story of the lost slipper. Madame Rosa recounts the tale to her students, and Ella Bella listens with heightened interest. When their day's lesson is over, Ella lingers at the theater, then opens Madame Rosa's magical music box and listens as it plays melodies from the Cinderella ballet. Suddenly, Cinderella's fairy godmother appears, and Ella Bella is transported into the beloved story of Cinderella. This delightful book's final page describes the ballet Cinderella, with music by the great Russian composer, Sergei Prokofiev.

Ella Bella Ballerina and The Sleeping Beauty description from the publisher:

Little Ella Bella loves attending Madame Rosa's ballet class at the old theater. Most of all she loves the music that plays from Madame Rosa's special music box, the theme from The Sleeping Beauty ballet. One day, after ballet class has ended, Ella Bella is left alone with the music box on the theater stage. As its music begins playing, Ella is transported to the magical world where the Sleeping Beauty's story takes place. Entering the palace of Princess Aurora, the Sleeping Beauty, Ella meets all the story's characters--not only the good ones, but also the sinister bad fairy--and she sees the famous story unfold before her very eyes. Here is an unusually imaginative retelling of the classic fairy tale, with illustrations that capture the story's magic and mystery. A brief postscript on the book's final page summarizes the history of ballet from its origins during the Italian Renaissance to the late nineteenth-century, when the famous Russian composer Piotr Ilich Tchaikovsky wrote music for The Sleeping Beauty ballet.

Ella Bella Ballerina and Swan lake description from the publisher:

The newest title in Barron's charming Ella Bella series tells another story of Ella Bella, a little girl who loves to dance. In this story, Ella's kindly ballet teacher Madame Rosa is preparing her class to dance in Tchaikovsky's immortal Swan Lake, and as Ella learns the story and listens to the music she is transported in a dream into Swan Lake's setting. There, she meets Odette, a beautiful princess who is transformed into a swan by an evil sorcerer. This beautiful volume's story is enhanced with James Mayhew's color illustrations. A brief passage at the back of the book recounts the life of Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and his creation of the music for this famous ballet.

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