Ballet and fairy tales, a sure-fire combination for romantically minded young readers, receive the friendliest of treatments in this handsome, oversize volume. Ella Bella is captivated when Madame Rosa instructs the class ("my darlings") to "imagine you are fairies" and plays the music from Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty ballet. Intrigued, Ella stays after class, opens Madame Rosa's music box and, "just like magic," the music starts and she dances herself into the fairy tale. The Lilac Fairy guides her through the various dramas and happy ending. Mayhew's (Katie Meets the Impressionists) light touch keeps the story from being overblown or fussy: when Ella sees the spindle being proffered to Princess Aurora, she "remembered the bad fairy's spell. 'Don't touch it!' she called. But Aurora did not hear." The breezy, dynamic lines of his illustrations, as well as the subdued colors, make the magical turn of events seem entirely natural. While Mayhew offers no surprises, his easygoing delivery is bound to engage anyone whose imagination is inspired by music, dancing, princes and princesses. Ages 4-8. (Nov.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Ella Bella Ballerina and the Sleeping Beautyby James Mayhew
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/i>
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 charactersnot only the good ones, but also the sinister bad fairyand 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.
After her ballet class, a girl waits on a deserted stage, listening to Madame Rosa's music box play melodies from The Sleeping Beauty . The Lilac Fairy appears in a stream of lavender light and takes Ella Bella into the ballet, flying from scene to scene, watching yet being part of the story. The shadowy theater becomes bright, and Mayhew's illustrations become more dramatic. When Princess Aurora pricks her finger on the spindle and falls asleep, the Lilac Fairy casts a spell so that everyone sleeps for a hundred years. Time magically passes, and they visit another kingdom to find a prince, who awakens the princess with a kiss. After the royal wedding, the music ends and Ella Bella is alone on the stage once more. Madame Rosa finds her and promises that the music box will play a different tune next time. This light and lovely book will hold little girls in its thrall. Add Tchaikovsky's music to set the stage for a lively read-aloud.-Mary Jean Smith, Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TN
- Barron's Educational Series, Incorporated
- Publication date:
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 9.00(w) x 12.60(h) x 0.50(d)
- Age Range:
- 4 - 8 Years
Meet the Author
James Mayhew was born in Blundeston, a tiny village in Suffolk, England. Today he lives with his wife and son in Letchworth Garden City, England. The author and illustrator of many popular children’s books, James Mayhew claims that he began writing so that he would have something to illustrate. Ella Bella Ballerina and The Sleeping Beauty is his first book published by Barron’s.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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A very imaginative story, with lovely illustrations. A great way to introduce kids to classic ballet. Little girls (probably 3+) and ballet lovers would enjoy this book.