Ella Bella Ballerina and The Magic Toyshop

Publisher: Orchard Books

Review

When Ella Bella attends her dance lesson, she and the other children are enchanted by the ‘Dolly Music’ their teacher plays from her magical musical box. Madame Rosa explains that it is from the ballet La Boutique Fantasque, about a kindly toymaker and his shop full of dancing dolls.

After class, as Ella Bella helps tidy up, she notices the door to a toyshop is open, so goes to investigate. She is welcomed by the friendly toymaker and his apprentice, who show her their incredible dancing dolls. When two demanding families arrive at the shop, they both want to buy the same pair of exquisite can-can dancers, so eventually they agree to each take one of them home. The dancers are devastated, as they are in love and cannot bear to be parted, but can Ella Bella help find a solution?

This charming picture book with timeless illustrations is ideal for children who love ballet, theatre and a touch of magic. At the end of the book is further information about the origins of La Boutique Fantasque, which was first performed in London by the Ballet Russe company in 1919. 

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