Lovely little ballerina Ella Bella returns to the stage after charming audiences in performances of Cinderella and The Sleeping Beauty.
Ella still attends class with Madame Rosa, whose music box is now playing Tchaikovsky’s beautiful Swan Lake. She and her classmates, including one boy, listen to the story and pretend that they are baby swans as they move to the music. When class is over, Ella stays on stage and in her imagination becomes part of the drama as dancers perform the ballet. A prince has fallen in love with an enchanted Swan Princess named Odette, but he is tricked by an evil sorcerer into declaring his love for her look-alike, Odile. Ella Bella tries to warn him of the duplicity, but to no avail. However, in this version, all ends happily for the royalty. Ella Bella leaves the theater and dances home with her mother—hopefully to return to the stage in another ballet. As in Ella Bella Ballerina and Cinderella (2009) and Ella Bella Ballerina and The Sleeping Beauty (2008), Mayhew’s simple storytelling and delicate watercolors in blues, pinks and lilacs meld together to tell the tale of the much-beloved ballet and evoke its timeless mystery and ethereal qualities for young audiences.
Curtain calls for Ella Bella and the whole troupe. (author’s note) (Picture book. 3-7)