Swan Lake by Anne Spudvilas
Published by Allen & Unwin
Date: 25 October 2017
I remember the day I received this book, I was literally in awe and I believe my mouth dropped open because I was captivated by its beauty. The first thing you notice when you open this book is that the pages are very dark and they evoke emotion. I truly wasn’t expecting to feel this way, even though I have seen the ballet. It could not have prepared me for what was on these pages, Anne Spudvilas has made the story come alive and has left me wanting more of her amazing work.
At the beginning of each act is where the only words in the book are. The poetic verse engulfs me every time I read them. The words dance across my tongue, just as the ballerinas dance this across the stage – I can hardly explain it really but there is just something special about these words and I just keep wanting to return to them again and again.
Just as the words are amazing, the pictures are something else again. The faces penetrate your soul, the flowers in the swan queens hair intricate with subtle yellow and pink hues, and the sadness on the swans face are just some of the artistic elements that left me speechless.
It is evident that Anne Spudvilas has a personal connection to this ballet because it can only be that type of passion that can turn this well known and loved ballet into illustrations that speak of passion and heartache.
This book is for 10 – 14 years old but really for anyone over ten this will be a treasured, I know I will be holding tight to my copy. When sharing this book with your children remember that the pages are dark, and the story while poetic is filled with sadness so reading it with them the first time may give you the opportunity to experience these emotions together.
I recommend this book for those that have seen the iconic Swan Lake and for those that haven’t; either way you will be mesmerised by it. I can only hope we see more from Anne Spudvilas in this from.
Thank you to Allen & Unwin for the opportunity to read and review this book