Ella Bella Ballerina and The Sleeping Beauty by James Mayhew

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Ella Bella Ballerina and The Sleeping Beauty by James Mayhew

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Buy Ella Bella Ballerina and The Sleeping Beauty by James Mayhew at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A retelling of the story of The Sleeping Beauty as Ella Bella is whisked away into Princess Aurora's world. It would make a thoughtful gift for a child who loves all things pink and girly.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: September 2007
Publisher: Orchard Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1846162978

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Ella Bella loved her ballet lessons at the old theatre with Madame Rosa, but the best part of all was listening and dancing to the music from her musical box. One day she told them that she would play the music from The Sleeping Beauty and they were all to imagine that they were fairies. The girls all danced to the music and Ella Bella asked Madame Rosa to tell them the story of Sleeping Beauty. She began to tell of how Princess Aurora was born in a fairy tale palace but had a spell cast on her at her christening. But time was short and Madame Rosa had to leave the story for another day.

In the way of all small children, Ella Bella wandered back to what interested her and in a matter of moments the music from The Sleeping Beauty was once again coming from the musical box and that was when the Lilac Fairy came and whisked Ella Bella off into the story of Princess Aurora.

James Mayhew has kindly included a postscript which explains the background to the ballet and the music which accompanies it. Read this first - you and your child will get more out of the book which essentially is a reworking of The Sleeping Beauty accompanied by the characteristic Ella Bella Ballerina illustrations in muted colours. The text reads aloud beautifully and there's a lot to talk about on every page including characters from other fairy stories who make an appearance in the wedding scene.

I thought that my six-year-old granddaughter would love this book. She goes to ballet classes and loves the music from The Sleeping Beauty so I was rather surprised when she told me that Ella Bella Ballerina is 'not proper'. She explained that real ballet lessons are not like that and the girls were not doing proper ballet. She's something of a purist in these matters! I think she's also something of an exception (her favourite book is The Getaway) as most girls of her age seem to be besotted with Ella Bella. It's a series that appeals to all things girly and pink and this beautifully presented book would make a lovely gift for most girls in the three- to six-year old age group.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy of this book to The Bookbag.

For another retelling of an old folk story you might like to try The Magic Paintbrush by Julia Donaldson or The Cat, The Crow And The Banyan Tree by Penelope Lively.

Buy Ella Bella Ballerina and The Sleeping Beauty by James Mayhew at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Ella Bella Ballerina and The Sleeping Beauty by James Mayhew at Amazon.co.uk


Buy Ella Bella Ballerina and The Sleeping Beauty by James Mayhew at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Ella Bella Ballerina and The Sleeping Beauty by James Mayhew at Amazon.com.

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