Swan Lake by Anne Spudvilas

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A magnificent visual retelling of the classic ballet story from a much-loved, award-winning Australian illustrator.

Swan Lake is an incredible book, in style, illustration and emotional involvement.

Taken from the iconic ballet of Swan Lake telling the tragic love story of a princess transformed into a swan by an evil sorcerer. In this atmospheric adaptation, Anne Spudvilas re-imagines the classic tale of passion, betrayal and heartbreak in the dramatic riverscape of the Murray-Darling.

Like a ballet the story emerges without words, and captures all the tension, heartbreak and  love with the inevitable finale or end. It has a different twist in this adaptation! The book, as the ballet, is in three acts with an explanation of the events that follow.

The illustrations are truly magical, with many dark tones and a minimal use of  a colour palette, enormously effective.

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Anne Spudvilas is one of Australia’s most talented visual artists. Her illustrations are full of emotion and beauty. Anne’s Swan Lake is simply enchanting and sublime!’ Li Cunxin, author of Mao’s Last Dancer and Artistic Director, Queensland Ballet

Anne Spudvilas is a multi-award-winning illustrator of children’s books and an established portrait painter and print-maker. Her first picture book, The Race by Christobel Mattingley, was awarded the Crichton Award for Illustration and was a Childrens’s Book Council of Australia Honour Book.

Anne’s move to the Murray River has inspired her latest book, an illustrated retelling of the classic ballet story Swan Lake. She lives in Wentworth, where the Murray and Darling rivers meet, surrounded by birds and river red gums.

Published by Allen and Unwin, it was released in the UK earlier this year. Allen and Unwin have a remarkable portfolio and list of amazingly beautiful books and this is one which we are lucky to have in the UK.

Whether you are also a ballet fiend or not, this book is one to have.

Sue Martin

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