Cover image for Swine lake
Swine lake
Marshall, James, 1942-1992.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
[New York] : Harper Collins Publishers, 1999.
Physical Description:
40 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 23 cm
A hungry wolf attends a performance of Swine Lake, performed by the Boarshoi Ballet, intending to eat the performers, but he is so entranced by the story unfolding on the stage that he forgets about his meal.
General Note:
"Michael Di Capua books."
Reading Level:
AD 710 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.9 0.5 31092.

Reading Counts RC K-2 4.5 2 Quiz: 16406 Guided reading level: P.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library RBR JUV. 1999.M37 Adult Non-Fiction Grosvenor Room-Rare Books-Appointment Needed
Collins Library PIC. BK.. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Kenmore Library PIC. BK.. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Lackawanna Library PIC. BK.. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
West Seneca Library PIC. BK.. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Julia Boyer Reinstein Library PIC. BK.. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

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When a lean and mangy wolf stumbles into the Boarshoi Ballet, he finds tasty pigs a-plenty, twirling and whirling in a performance of Swine Lake. Faced with all those luscious porkers, whats a hungry wolf to do? Well, something totally surprising, as it turns out.

Pure fun from Marshall and Sendak--an incomparable duo!

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Ages 5^-8. Just a look at the dust jacket and you know you're in for fun: two chubby piglets prance on a stage while a lip-licking wolf leans out of his balcony seat. Oh yes, the names on the jacket don't hurt either. Maurice Sendak and the late James Marshall combine their considerable talents in this spoof with a heart. When a hungry, mangy wolf finds that a production of "Swine Lake" is being mounted at the New Hamsterdam theater, he can barely keep the saliva from dribbling. The wolf manages to snag a seat and expects to spend the performance deciding when to leap on the stage and make off with one of the dancers. But a funny thing happens as the wolf watches--he becomes, first, involved and, then, enthralled by the story of the wedding couple and the ferocious monster that pursues them. So moved is the wolf that he breaks into his piggy bank to buy a ticket to the next day's performance--where he finally does jump onto the stage. Not to eat piggies, but only to dance with them. Both Marshall and Sendak are cleverly comic here, but it is the unexpected twist of the wolf falling prey to the magic of the theater that sets this above what might have been only a spoof in the hands of lesser talents. Except for the ending, which falls a bit flat, the text shines. Sendak's art captures the nuance as well as all the humor of the story. The wolf's evolution from pork-crazed predator to besotted balletomane is depicted by the droop of a shoulder, the turn of a mouth, but the funny stuff is over-the-top, especially the onstage antics. Grown-up kids will like this as much as little ones. --Ilene Cooper

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-5-It's hog heaven! Sendak, with his signature style, and Marshall, with his delicious wit, are the perfect pair to ham up a spoof on ballet. The scrumptious smell of pigs draws a lean and mangy wolf to the New Hamsterdam Theater where a matinee of "Swine Lake" is being performed by the Boarshoi Ballet. With opportune timing, a fat old sow offers the penniless wolf a ticket for a box seat that ideally positions him for a leap onto the stage. As the plump and juicy dancing pigs interpret the story, the wolf gets so caught up in the excitement and drama that he forgets to make his move. He returns that night, after breaking his piggy bank to buy a ticket, and is so carried away by the music that he leaps to the stage and takes over the role of the monster. The next day a newspaper review cites the special guest appearance as the highlight of the evening: "It was almost as if a real wolf had appeared on the stage." Among the visual puns of ballet and literary references, discerning eyes will notice some discordant notes: a mismatch of blockish typeface for the swirl and flourish of the illustrations, and inconsistency in the time frame. Still, the composition of the pictures seats readers front stage to relish the hijinks of this wickedly funny pig tale. The end result is swinely divine.-Julie Cummins, New York Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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