Ella Bella Ballerina and The Sleeping Beauty (Book)

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Item: 10061521


Ella Bella Ballerina and The Sleeping Beauty (Book)
by James Mayhew

Little Ella Bella loves attending Madame Rosa’s ballet class at the old theater. Most of all she loves the music that plays from Madame Rosa’s special music box, the theme from The Sleeping Beauty ballet. One day, after ballet class has ended, Ella Bella is left alone with the music box on the theater stage. As its music begins playing, Ella is transported to the magical world where the Sleeping Beauty’s story takes place. Entering the palace of Princess Aurora, the Sleeping Beauty, Ella meets all the story’s characters—not only the good ones, but also the sinister bad fairy—and she sees the famous story unfold before her very eyes. Here is an unusually imaginative retelling of the classic fairy tale, with illustrations that capture the story’s magic and mystery. A brief postscript on the book’s final page summarizes the history of ballet from its origins during the Italian Renaissance to the late nineteenth-century, when the famous Russian composer Piotr Ilich Tchaikovsky composed music for The Sleeping Beauty ballet.

From the Reviews:
“Ballet and fairy tales, a sure-fire combination for romantically minded young readers, receive the friendliest of treatments in this handsome, oversize volume. … The breezy, dynamic lines of his illustrations, as well as the subdued colors, make the magical turn of events seem entirely natural. While Mayhew offers no surprises, his easygoing delivery is bound to engage anyone whose imagination is inspired by music, dancing, princes and princesses.”
—Publisher’s Weekly, October 6, 2008

“This light and lovely book will hold little girls in its thrall.”
—School Library Journal, December 2008

About The Author:
James Mayhew was born in Blundeston, a tiny village in Suffolk, England. Today he lives with his wife and son in Letchworth Garden City, England. The author and illustrator of many popular children’s books, James Mayhew claims that he began writing so that he would have something to illustrate. Ella Bella Ballerina and The Sleeping Beauty is his first book published by Barron’s.

  • Ages 4–8
  • Hardcover / 32 Pages / 9 x 12 1/2 / 2008

Read More



In classic or contemporary ballet, dancing may tell a story, express a mood, or simply reflect the music in movement. Ballet as part of staged performances originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th and 16th centuries and from there spread to France. The creation of classical ballet as we know it today occurred during the reign of the art-loving French king Louis XIV in the mid-17th century. During the Romantic era, ballet technique evolved to express new ideas, most notably with women dancing en point, or on their toes, allowing them to appear weightless and otherworldly.
Among the choreographers who helped bring ballet into the modern age by exploring new visual and dramatic styles are George Balanchine, Antony Tudor and—bridging the worlds of classical dance and Broadway—Agnes de Mille and Jerome Robbins.



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