Swan, The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova
by Laurel Snyder, illustrated by Julie Morstad
Chronicle Books, 2015
This poetically written story dances across the page to provide a glimpse into the early life of Anna Pavlova. A young Russian girl born into a poor family, Anna is taken to a ballet performance. From that night on, she wanted to be a ballerina; she could not stop her body from moving. She was not made to be a ballerina, her body was thin and frail, with a weak back and severely arched feet. As a child, she danced continually, she could not stop. Dancing became her only dream. Eventually she was accepted into the Imperial Ballet School. She was a natural ballerina. When she steps onto the stage in her performance of The Dying Swan, it’s like she sprouts white wings and becomes a swan in a breath-taking performance. The book contains an author’s note that includes additional biographical information. The story and notes are a joy to read; inspiring for any young dancer.