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Swan Lake by Mark Helprin

Swan Lake

by Mark Helprin

Other authors: Chris Van Allsburg (Illustrator)

Series: Kingdom Far and Clear (1)

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430224,529 (4.01)8



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Two of my favorite artists collaborate on a retelling of the ballet "Swan Lake," inventing their own alchemical story of consecutive sets of royal parents murdered and infant daughters raised anonymously upon wooded mountainsides.

Writing, as only Helprin can do it -- describing a royal ball: "Thousands and thousands of overdressed people packed the glider hall. So much perfume was in the air that the palace bees, imprisoned in a far wing, broke loose from their confinements and came through the ventilation system to crisscross ecstatically above the dancers, reflecting the bright gas lamps as if they were golden confetti." (57)

I agree with this review taken from the Amazon site: From School Library Journal-- Visually this book is stunning ,.... The emperor lying with his head propped on his dog and his pen between his toes, the rider standing on a galloping horse, and the two great swans with wings raised .... The retelling and adaptation of the well-known story is more problematic. ... The writing is skillful, with verbal images so strong that the illustrations almost seem unnecessary, but the plot is overloaded with philosophical musing about the quality of life and ironic descriptions of life at a decadent court. It is much too dense and sophisticated for children, and at the same time thin fare on which to pin so much for adults. ... --Amy Kellman, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
  Mary_Overton | Apr 7, 2009 |
It's about a little girl and her gaurdian and nurse maid helper person...haven't read it in a while.Also see a city in winter and the veil of snows by the same author. ( )
  referee | Apr 16, 2007 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mark Helprinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Van Allsburg, ChrisIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Once, the mountains held within their silvered walls a forest so high and so gracefully forgotten that it rode above the troubles of the world as easily as the blinding white clouds that sometimes catch on jagged peaks and musically unfurl.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0395498589, Hardcover)

The two-time Caldecott medalist illustrates Mark Helprin's enchanting story of the characters in Tchaikovsky's famous ballet.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:04 -0400)

A young prince and his beloved Odette struggle to protect themselves and their infant daughter from the evil Von Rothbart in this adaptation of the classic ballet.

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