Throwback Thursday: Of Swans, Sugarplums and Satin Slippers

So I have decided to do my own version of Throwback Thursday and look at books from my past or the back-list (aka, not new within the last year).  These posts will probably be a mash up book review and my thoughts on how I might repurpose it.

To commemorate the inaugural post of the series, I am going back to elementary school and the only book I would ever check out. If you read some of my previous posts, you might notice I am a little ballet obsessed. Truth? If things had gone differently, I would be an anorexic ballerina now and not the brilliant YA addict that I am. So without further ado, I present Of Swans, Sugarplums and Satin Slippers.

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It is a collection of classical ballet stories (Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Giselle, etc) written by Violette Verdy and illustrated by Marcia Brown. I LOVE this book. My first memory of going to a library involves this book. I would always go to the school library and pick this out. Nothing else.

Now that I am older, I still love it…but I would change things. My aesthetic is very different. I love whimsical drawings, and I am a fan of detailed drawings. Brown’s illustrations just aren’t working for me.

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Though this is still very pretty.

For a picture book, it’s long. I mean 86 pages long. (As I am sitting here looking at the book, I feel like this explains so much about why I was an advanced reader. My favorite PICTURE book was 86 pages longs with several pages WITHOUT pictures.) The stories are wonderful and detailed, but it really doesn’t fit.

If I had the opportunity to republish this book, I would break the stories into their own books, and get paper engineer, Yevgeniya Yeretskaya, to illustrate.

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I mean, look at this gorgeous pop-up from her book Snow Queen.

I would then do a compiled version, more like this book, that features the text along with some of the best illustrations.

Of Swan, Sugarplums and Stain Slippers  remains my one of my favorite picture books, even if it is 86 pages long.

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