Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova


Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova written by Laurel Snyder and illustrated by Julie Morstad (2015)

Anna Pavlova is introduced to the ballet by her mother on a cold winter evening. She instantly falls in love with the beauty and a song is born within her heart. From then on, Anna dreams of nothing else. She is initially turned away from a ballet school, but two years later she is accepted. After much work, Anna becomes a world renown  ballerina. She is invited to dance before kings and queens. She travels and dances for everyone. After WWI, Anna can never return to her hometown so she builds a new life on the other side of the wall. On another snowy evening, many years later, Anna catches a cold she cannot shake. Her life and her dance end in sweet applause.


Wow! I don’t usually swoon over a picture book, but this is one which takes my breath away. The combination of biography, poetry, and prose is exquisite. And the illustrations transport the reader directly into the time period and the heart of the story. It really is a must read for picture book lovers!

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