By Anne Spudvilas
Allen and Unwin RRP $29.99
The author of this book is responsible for the superb illustrations in Li Cunxin’s The Peasant Prince, a children’s version of his autobiography, Mao’s Last Dancer. With Swan Lake, she once again delights with her beautiful artwork. The book has very little text – just the basic synopsis of Swan Lake, told in three pages and three acts. Mostly the story is told through delightfully gloomy, mysterious illustrations. Though dark (black and white with some minimal colour), they gleam as if “through a glass darkly”, with late evening light shining through the vague shapes of trees or reflecting off water. The author writes that the landscape is inspired by her home territory of the Murray Darling.
The book is a square hardback, 48 pages, and bound to delight children and grown-ups.