Friday, December 22, 2017

The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker. New York City Ballet. Valeria Docampo (illustrator). 2016. 40 pages. [Source: Library]

 First sentence: It was Christmas Eve at the Stahlbaums' house, and like children everywhere, Marie and Fritz were so excited that they could feel their toes tingle. Their parents were decorating the Christmas tree before the big holiday party, and Marie and Fritz were not allowed into the great room until it was done. They jostled each other to sneak a peek at the glittering tree through the keyhole.

Premise/plot: This is a picture book adaptation of the BALLET,  George Balanchine's The Nutcracker. The book concludes with some "Fun Facts" about the ballet.

My thoughts: I love, love, love the music of The Nutcracker. I would happily--do happily--listen to it throughout the year. It has never been just "holiday" music to me. This picture book puts into words the story of the Nutcracker ballet. I would definitely recommend sharing this story--or another like it--with little ones before taking them to see the ballet. I think knowing the story--how everything fits together and flows--is essential to enjoying the experience of seeing The Nutcracker live.

This picture book has wonderful illustrations. The illustrations alone make it worthy of checking out of the library.

Word of warning: There were TWO picture book adaptations of The Nutcracker published in 2016 featuring illustrations by Valeria Docampo. This one is specifically tied to the George Balanchine production of The Nutcracker. The other is less specific, more general adaptation of the story. 

Text: 4 out of 5
Illustrations: 5 out of 5
Total: 9 out of 10

© 2017 Becky Laney of Young Readers

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