The Barefoot Book of Ballet Stories

by Jane Yolen

Other authorsRebecca Guay (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 2009



Local notes

792.8 Yol





Barefoot Books (2009), Edition: 1 Rei/Com, 80 pages


Retellings of seven of the world's greatest ballet stories.


Original language


Physical description

80 p.; 9 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
Co-authors Jane Yolen and Heidi E.Y. Stemple, who are also mother and daughter, tell the stories of seven classic ballets in this lovely anthology from Barefoot Books. Beginning with a very basic history of ballet as a dance form, they go on to tell both the history and story of Coppélia
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(Delibes), Swan Lake (Tchaikovsky), Cinderella (Prokofiev), The Nutcracker (Tchaikovsky), Shim Chung (Pickard), The Sleeping Beauty (Tchaikovsky) and Daphnis and Chloe (Ravel). The narratives are accompanied by the artwork of illustrator Rebecca Guay, and a bibliography and list of websites is included at the rear...

Although I have long been an admirer of the prolific Jane Yolen, whose books I have been reading for many years, I initially tracked down The Barefoot Book of Ballet Stories because I was looking for more of artist Rebecca Guay's illustrations, after enjoying her work in Muti's Necklace: The Oldest Story in the World and Goddesses: A World of Myth and Magic. I was not disappointed on that score, finding the visuals here breathtakingly beautiful, and I only wish Guay had illustrated more books in this vein. The text was also appealing, and I found the stories very well written, and quite engaging. I appreciated the little histories of each ballet - how and when they were composed and first performed - that were included before the stories themselves. I was familiar with six of the seven ballets already, and was pleased to learn about Shim Chung, based upon a Korean fairy-tale, and blending western and eastern artistic traditions. I'm not sure why it is, but the reprint done of this book in 2009 did not include this story/ballet, so I'd recommend seeking out the original 2004 edition. Recommended to young ballet lovers, to anyone seeking an anthology containing the stories of famous ballets, and to fans of Rebecca Guay.
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½ (9 ratings; 3.7)
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