Beginning with her first visit to a ballet performance at age eight, we follow Anna Pavlova's life-long love affair with this demanding form of dance. Six chapters, enhanced by occasional black-and-white drawings, describe Anna's growth from beginning pupil at the Russian Imperial Ballet School at age ten through her rise to prima ballerina as a young woman. The story continues through her busy, creative years traveling the world, bringing the joy and beauty of the dance to a variety of people while teaching and inspiring many young dancers. The author nicely describes Anna's unique style and appeal. Part of the "Creative Minds Biographies," this book should appeal to ballet enthusiasts, and perhaps also to young readers just becoming interested in this art form. A bibliography, index and selected repertoire are included. 2001, Carolrhoda Books, $21.27. Ages 10 to 14. Reviewer: Gisela Jernigan
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-In this slim biography, the life of the famous ballerina gently unfolds. Focusing on the development of her career, beginning with her determination to be accepted into Russia's Imperial Ballet School, the book reveals not only the dancer's devotion to her art, but also her love of nature and her compassionate concern for children. Even though she was considered too fragile and slender by the standards of her time, she used those traits to her advantage, especially in one of her signature ballets, The Dying Swan, creating a graceful and ethereal image that enthralled audiences. The book's soft, black-and-white illustrations convey those qualities. Clearly written and upbeat, this sensitive portrayal will inspire young readers. A "Selected Repertoire" and a thorough index enhance the book's usefulness for reports.-Carol Schene, Taunton Public Schools, MA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.