Friday, February 19, 2016

Airy


A librarian called this picture book, “airy.”
SWAN, The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova, by Laurel Snyder, illustrated by Julie Morstad, Chronicle Books, 2015

And, indeed, it is airy.
Snowflakes. Petals. Feathers. Also airy. Illustrator Morstad scatters them across the pages, never letting the reader forget the soaring ambition of a little girl.

Author Snyder won’t let the reader forget, either, reminding us of the humble beginnings of this legend, repeating “shirt, shirt, laundry” even as the artist is applauded by kings and queens, yet drives herself to take ballet where it has never been.   

Anna Pavlova is known best for The Dying Swan ballet she made her own. Her influence on classical ballet can never be fathomed.  
In my mind, if we had to use a different word for ballet, it would be Pavlova.

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