Sunday, August 30, 2009

Provensen's "Tales from the Ballet"

From their book "Tales from the Ballet" (Golden Press 1968) by Caldecott Medal winners illustrators Alice and Martin Provensen*. As the title suggests, many of these tales are fairy tales. Either ballets were created from old tales like Sleeping Beauty and Ivanand the Firebird or new fairy tales like Giselle were written, often based on a little piece of something else (Giselle was based on a poem). The Nutcracker, of course, is originally by E. T. A. Hoffman, truncated and adapted from his very long short story 'Nutcracker and the Mouse King' .

The Sleeping Princess Coppelia (2 images) The Golden Cockerel Giselle
The Nutcracker
The Firebird

You can find more on the Provensen husband-and-wife author and illustration team* HERE and see the lovely Alice Provensen gallery HERE.

*The Provensen's are not credited with writing 'Tales from the Ballet' as well as illustrating it. The writer is listed as Louis Untermeyer.
*The Provensen's didn't win the Caldecott for this book but for "A Glorious Flight", a biographical picture book about an aviator.
*Some of these images were found on Flickr. The others were found on various foreign rare book seller sites.


  1. I am trying to find a book(s) they were things like snow white and sleeping beauty but the images in the books were of little possed dolls. any info would be great! I think they were published between the 1960's and 80's

  2. Does anyone know about the other cover? It has "Tales from the Ballet" written, but no other illustrations.