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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
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.)
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-This fine picture book was inspired by the Balanchine version of the Stravinsky ballet. Therefore, it may be used as an easy retelling of the Russian folktale and as an introduction for ballet fans. The text is clear and simple but strongly evokes the magical atmosphere of The Firebird. The illustrations are outstanding-strongly romantic, impressionistic paintings that are alive with movement, drama, and the bold use of color. A splendid addition.-Kay McPherson, Central Atlanta-Fulton Public Library, GA
Carolyn Phelan
In this vibrant picture book, Isadora retells the Russian folktale that inspired the ballet "The Firebird". Searching for a magic tree in a nearby forest, Ivan first captures, then releases the Firebird, who promises to help him in time of trouble. Trouble soon comes when a beautiful princess in the woods reveals that she and her companions are held prisoner by an evil sorcerer and his crew of demonic monsters. With the Firebird's help, Ivan kills the sorcerer, frees the captives, and marries the princess. Illustrating the simple text are impressionistic paintings that expressively interpret the story with vivid color, movement, and energy. The characters wear ballet shoes and costumes, and their movements reflect the illustrator's dance training, yet the double-page spreads seem to be arbitrary boundaries on our vision into a magical world rather than a tidy proscenium arch framing a stage production. An exciting entree to both the story and the ballet.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399225109
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/19/1994
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 20.00 (w) x 20.00 (h) x 20.00 (d)

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