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Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova by Laurel Snyder #FMEGifts2015

Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlov by Laurel Snyder

One night, young Anna’s mother takes her to the ballet, and everything is changed. So begins the journey of a girl who will one day grow up to be the most famous prima ballerina of all time, inspiring legions of dancers after her: the brave, the generous, the transcendently gifted Anna Pavlova. Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova is a heartbreakingly beautiful picture book biography perfect for aspiring ballerinas of all ages.

Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlov by Laurel Snyder

Swan is a beautifully illustrated and written picture book depicting the life and death of Anna Pavlova.  The reader is taken on a journey through Anna’s humble beginnings in a snowy city in Czarist Russia through her triumph on stage right through to her tragic end. 

This is a book that needs to be read aloud.  As you read it you will find the verse takes you up / and down / and to and fro, much like a ballet dance.  The way the author managed to convey all the beauty and elegance of Anna’s dance through the rhythm of the text is truly a triumph of the written word.  Just try and get through it without your voice catching.  I haven’t managed it yet!

The author handles Anna’s death well and in a way that a younger reader (or in my case two little listeners) might not understand what has happened. This may invite conversation – or not!   You can choose as a parent how to deal with it, which I think was smart.  I honestly think it would have done this book a disservice to gloss over or ignore her death. It is a sad ending, but it manages to be portrayed in a truly beautiful way.

There is also a really great Author’s note with a two page, fairly detailed run-down of Anna’s life as well as a bibliography and quotation source which may invite more opportunities to explore Anna’s life.

This is a fantastic choice for any young reader, especially ones with an interest in dance.

Swan is available to purchase from Amazon, and book-stores near you!

 Disclosure: I received the above mentioned product in order to facilitate this review.  All thoughts and opinions are honest and my own.


kathy downey

Tuesday 1st of December 2015

I ordered this i hope i get it in time


Saturday 14th of November 2015

That would be a nice stocking stuffer. The artwork is beautiful.

kathy downey

Saturday 14th of November 2015

This sounds like a really nice book,and the illustrations are beautiful!

Amy Desrosiers

Thursday 12th of November 2015

I think I would enjoy reading this even though it is sad. The illustrations look really peaceful.


Thursday 12th of November 2015

This sounds like such an awesome book. And, I know a few people who'd enjoy this book.