The Sad Ballerina, the Poor Boy and the Monster

This is not just a children’s story. It came to me last weekend, and since then i have been working on the writing, and the illustrations. It should also have some nice animation and sound effects once it’s converted into an ibook. I am thinking of a female narrator for this one, but I m still not sure. (the below is just a second draft of the first part of the story)


The ballerina was a beautiful dancer. Whenever she moved to the harmony of the music, she could put people under a spell. Her instructor said there was no doubt she would soon become one of the greatest ballet dancers who ever lived. Her dancing was special, she made people happy and that was her gift.  The Ballerina herself , though, was not a happy person.

There was no apparent reason why she never smiled, and no one knew what to do about it. They often tried to talk to her, but she avoided such conversations. What was sure was that there was a deep sadness inside of her and she would not let go of it. It seemed there could be no cure for her unhappiness, and that was such a shame.

It was the Ballerina’s habit to go step out of her dancing school on her break to get some air. One day,  on such an occasion, a young boy approached her and tried to sell her some candy. She could tell from his clothes, that he was very poor and probably homeless. She did feel sorry for him, but since she had left all of her stuff inside, including her wallet, she told him that she did not want any candy. The boy looked disappointed but as he was leaving she clearly heard him giggling.

“What are you laughing about?” she asked him.

The boy covered his mouth as if he was just caught doing something he shouldn’t.

It was her funny skirt, he explained.

The ballerina got a little bit angry, “this is not a funny skirt” she told him. “That’s a tutu. It is for dancing.”

The boy couldn’t help but explode laughing at the funniest word he had ever heard “A toutou?”

“A tutu, silly boy, not a toutou! It’s for dancing ballet.”

But then the boy asked shyly “What’s ballet?”

This was pure horror to the ballerina, “Poor silly boy. I’ll show you.”

The ballerina then brought her special dancing shoes, which she told the boy they were called Pointe shoes, her music player and begun dancing for the boy.

The boy did not really care what the shoes were called, they looked as funny as her skirt, but then he forgot all that as the Ballerina started to dance. His eyes became big, filled with wonder and awe and followed her every move. He had never, ever, seen anything like that.

Soon, passersby begun to gather. At first they were a just couple, then six, then ten; before long there was barely enough space for the ballerina to move. When she was done, they all clapped and an old woman wiped away a happy tear. Most of them threw her some money, which the Ballerina knew exactly what to do with it. The little boy kept clapping until the Ballerina told him to stop then gave him all the money, she had just made.

“Here” said the ballerina to him. The boy could not believe it and was very happy but when he realized it was time for the ballerina to leave,  he was very upset and almost cried.

“What’s wrong?” Asked the ballerina, “isn’t this enough?”

“It’s more than I would make in three days,” said the little boy, “it’s not that.”

“What is it then,” asked the ballerina concerned.

“I have two younger brothers,” he told her, “and they, too, have never seen anything like your toutou dancing.”

The Ballerina was amused, and that was rare, so she immediately made up her mind about what she had to do next.

“Take me to them,” she said, “ I’ll dance for them.”

This surprised the boy a great deal, so much, he nearly dropped all of his money. Then there seemed to be something else that troubling him.

“I don’t think you can come.”

“Of course I can,” the Ballerina interrupted, “Let me just get my things.”

“No, you don’t understand. It will be too dangerous for you to come.”

“And why is that?” asked the Ballerina

“There is a monster where I live,” the boy said.

“There are no monsters,” said the Ballerina.

“Where you live, you wouldn’t see him,” said the boy, “He hides well. Where I live, he haunts the streets and he would hurt me if he catches me or my brothers. He caught us once,”

The Ballerina stood watching the boy and did not know what to say.

Then the boy said whispering, “But we escaped. We were too smart for him. We were fast too.”

“I am also smart and fast,” replied the Ballerina.

The boy sized up the Ballerina for some time. This could be dangerous, he thought, but his brothers may not get another chance to see toutou dancing again. Finally he agreed on the one condition, she would do exactly what he told her to do.

(what is) Paparoona and (why) The Raven (?)

I love books, especially the classics. I like reading them on paper and watching their movie adaptations and, like many, what I would really, really like to see is a movie adaptation that will not lose, or utterly destroy, the essence of the literature the author has worked so hard on.

I know this is close to impossible, that is until tablets arrived.
Me and some very talented friends of mine are working into making a new reading experience that is in between reading a paper book and watching the movie. Our goal is to engage the reader with highly artistic illustrations, sound effects, animation, and in some cases narration as well for tablets as ebooks.
Paparoona is our young ebook publishing company named after the poppy flower (paparoona is Greek for poppy), the reason that it grows with wild weed but spreads color in otherwise plain field made it very appealing to us.
So we started out with something very close to my heart “The Raven” by Edgard Allan Poe. In this poem, we see its narrator, who is at first a seemingly normal person, descend into madness by all the possible meanings of the word “Nevermore.” This is the only word that is uttered by the raven which has flown in his room. We know the reason for the narrator’s downfall, it is that his wife has recently died, and we can’t blame him. Who among us will see a beloved deceased person again in this lifetime? and what about the next? Is there a next? Such questions are asked in this poem, and what makes them all the more important is the fact that Poe wrote this poem as his beloved wife was dying in the room.
The Raven is a tragedy written musically. The words rhyme mathematically in each verse, it’s a pleasure to the ear and so we just could not resist not having it narrated. And we didn’t just have it narrated. We employed a professional voice actor and we asked him to act the poem out. We added sound effects to fully captivate the drama.
The illustrations are all very well done and could have been paintings. We put a lot of effort in each little detail. We wanted to make something visually interesting as well and take full advantage of the highly defined screens on tablets.
At the end we were very proud of what we had achieved. The Raven (in iBook format), now available on Apple ibookstore, is Paparoona’s firstborn.
Now we are off to new literary challenge and we are so very excited to try something different. I will not reveal just yet which beloved piece of classic literature we have chosen, but here’s a hint, this time it’s going to be a science fiction novel.
If you are intrigued by Paparoona please check out our website
And if you want to check out The Raven on Ibookstore