Book Review

Swan Lake Ballet Theatre

By Denebola
Published: December 2009

Rachael McNally
Swan Lake Ballet Theatre
By Jean Mahoney
Illustrated by Viola Ann Seden

Remember when you could disappear in your own home by simply taking out your favorite toys?

Your real world started to fall away as you began to set the scene on your bed or floor. Whether you took out action figures or baby dolls you were in another world by the time you had them all set up. 

This alternate reality could last for ages – or at least until it was time for supper.

Viola Ann Seddon and Jean Mahoney had the imaginary worlds of children in mind when they designed the Swan Lake Ballet Theatre. This compact package expands to make a beautiful tabletop theatre of colorful cardboard. Not too large, but not too small, either.

You can easily change the scenery and manipulate the dancers (they are attached to clear rods that simply fit into holes in the “stage). Children will enjoy different aspects of this creation, depending on their age.

For example, a four-year-old would love spinning the dancers from above and changing who is on stage. A six or seven-year-old might have fun recognizing the different backdrops after hearing the story read (it is included).

Older children–and their parents!–would enjoy telling their own version of Swan Lake by following the booklet of detailed instructions. The accompanying CD of Tchaikovsky’s music will be a huge bonus for some but is not absolutely necessary in order to enjoy this lovely miniature ballet world.

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