Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Book review: The Sleeping Beauty- A Journey to the Ballet of the Mariinsky Theatre

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book to review for myself. I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions posted here are mine and mine alone.

Right now it's September in Seattle and we're experiencing a week of very unusually hot weather.  But my kids and I have been transported (on several occasions now), from our warm living room to the snowy streets of St. Petersburg, Russia in 1890.  The book that has taken us on this journey is called The Sleeping Beauty: A Journey to the Ballet of the Mariinsky Theatre. Here's a bit about it, from its website:

The Sleeping Beauty takes the familiar tale beyond the popular Disney telling. Readers are introduced to 11-year-old Lena Gabrielle, who desperately wants to attend the 1890 debut performance of "The Sleeping Beauty" ballet at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg. When her father tells her the show is sold out, Lena Gabrielle embarks on a secret journey through the streets of the fabulous historic city. During the course of her travels, statues come alive. Amidst all the magic, she meets an endearing old man, named Tchaikovsky, who leads her to the door of the Mariinsky and shows her the stage where the ballet will be performed. When Lena Gabrielle touches the curtain, it parts, and she watches in awe as the ballet unfolds before her eyes -- but is it really the performance? Or has Lena Gabrielle fallen far into her imagination?
This book can only be described as spectacularly beautiful. The text reads in a lovely, flowing manner and my kids sat absolutely transfixed as I read it to them. The story is brought to life with gorgeous full-color illustrations.  We had to take breaks from the story at times to admire the pictures and look at all the intricate details.  Absolutely beautiful.  The story itself is a version of Sleeping Beauty that I hadn't heard before- it's always fun to hear another version of a classic story!

 Picture copyrighted

This is a book to be experienced and treasured. If there is a little ballerina in your life (or even a not-so-little one!), this book would make a wonderful addition to his or her library.