The Firebird by Jane Yolen

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Synopsis

In a certain land, in a certain kingdom -- as they say in old Russia -- on the far side of a certain tangled wood, a garden shimmered like a green jewel....

Inside that jewellike garden, an evil wizard named Kostchei the Deathless holds a princess and her nine maidens captive, turning all those who attempt to save them to stone. But help is nearby -- Prince Ivan searching the nearby tangled wood for food, finds the young women and vows to save them. And with some help from the powerful and mischievous Firebird, as well as with much true courage from within, Prince Ivan will slay a horde of demons and Kostchei himself in order to free the damsels.

Jane Yolen's rich, mystical narrative is based on both the well-known Russian folktale and the famous Balanchine/Stravinsky ballet. Enhancing that theme, Vladimir Vagin has created exquisite paintings with a double focus: The folktale takes center stage, while intricate vignettes of the ballet serve as a border. The result is a seamlessly woven multilayered tapestry of story and art that will make this book a treasure for ballet lovers new and old.

 

About Jane Yolen

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Jane Yolen was born February 11, 1939 in New York City. She received her BA from Smith College in 1960. After college, she became an editor in New York City and wrote during her lunch break. She sold her first children's book, Pirates in Petticoats, at the age of 22. Since then, she has written over 300 books for children, young adults and adults. Her other works include the Emperor and the Kite, Owl Moon, How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? and The Devil's Arithmetic, which tells the story of the life of a Jew in a concentration camp. She has won a multitude of medals for her work including the Kerlan Award, the Regina Medal, the Keene State Children's Literature Award, the Caldecott Medal, two Nebula Awards, two Christopher Medals, the World Fantasy Award, three Mythopoeic Fantasy Awards, the Golden Kite Award, the Jewish Book Award, the World Fantasy Association's Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Association of Jewish Libraries Award. Vladimir Vagin lived in Russia until he moved to the United States in 1990. Mr. Vagin has illustrated several books for children, including Katherine Paterson's The King's Equal and Celia and the Sweet, Sweet Water. He lives in Middletown Springs, VT.
 
Published April 1, 2002 by HarperCollins Publishers. 32 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Firebird

Kirkus Reviews

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The design uses the folktale text and accompanying illustrations in the upper three-quarters of the pages, with a narrower segment of illustrations across the bottom quarter showing illustrations of the related story from the ballet.

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Publishers Weekly

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This gracefully structured picture book introduces readers to the famous Firebird ballet (choreographed by George Balanchine to Igor Stravinsky's music) and

Apr 29 2002 | Read Full Review of The Firebird

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