The Magic of the Ballet: Seven Classic Stories

Illustrator: Lauren O'Hara

Binding: Hardcover

Imprint: Walker Books

Age 7+

Ballet, Dance

A book of beautiful, lively retellings of classic ballet stories
From Swan Lake to The Firebird, and The Nutcracker to Coppélia, Vivian French breathes new life into seven ballet favourites in her timeless, gloriously-immersive retellings. Her words are perfectly complemented by Lauren O'Hara's characterful illustrations, which strike the perfect balance between classic and contemporary, and the result is a treasury which shimmers with the magic of the ballet ... certain to leave readers of all ages spellbound!


Vivian French is a much-loved author who has written more than 300 books for children. She teaches on the illustration course at Edinburgh School of Art, and helped to found the mentoring scheme Picture Hooks for aspiring young illustrators. In 2016, she received an MBE for services to literature, literacy, illustration and the arts. Follow Viv on Twitter @fivekingdoms, or visit her at her website:

Lauren O’Hara
is an illustrator from the north of England. As a child she loved reading fairy tales, painting insects and listening to her grandmother’s stories. She studied art and illustration at Kingston University and then designed window displays and props for films. Lauren’s career as an illustrator began when she and her sister, Natalia worked together on a picture book, Hortense and the Shadow which was published in 2017. She is also the illustrator of Sophie Dahl's Madame Badobedah and Frindleswylde.


Perfect for small ballet fans […] told with assured, absorbing interest and illustrated with delicate porcelain charm.


The sinister undertones of Swan Lake, the weaving of the spell that binds Sleeping Beauty for 100 years, the love story at the heart of Giselle and the power of the Firebird will enchant all those who read or listen to these powerful stories.


[…]delightful compendium that balances the traditional with some contemporary touches. Delicately illustrated.

Sally Morris' children's books of the year, Daily Mail

A retelling of seven famous ballets, with sumptuous illustrations. A must for ballet fans.

Irish Independent

good prep for a ballet and the illustrations by Lauren O’Hara are charming.

Evening Standard

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