Monday, August 6, 2018

Board book: I Love the Nutcracker

Board book: I Love the Nutcracker: My First Sound Book. Marion Billet. 2018. Scholastic. 16 pages. [Source: Review copy]

 First sentence: On Christmas Eve, Clara receives a special Nutcracker toy. Can you find it?

Premise/plot: This interactive board book introduces six songs from the Nutcracker Suite to little ones. The songs are: "The March," "Chinese Dance," "Russian Dance," "Dance of the Mirlitons," "Flower Waltz," and "Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy."

The board book does not seek to share the somewhat complicated, almost surreal story of the Nutcracker ballet. This board book is not an adaptation of the ballet's story.

The text is kept very simple. And it even asks questions. For example,
Watch the pandas leap and twirl. Who is watching the teapot?
The dance gets faster and faster! How many dancers do you see?
My thoughts: The way most people feel about BACON is the way I feel about The Nutcracker. To qualify that statement I'll add: I'm talking about the music and not necessarily the ballet. I like the ballet. But I love, love, love, CRAZY LOVE the music. I listen to the Nutcracker year round. Perhaps because I don't always associate it with the ballet itself. (After all, its interpretation in Fantasia is NOT holiday related.)

Each spread has a button for little ones to press. Press the button to hear the song--there are six total songs. The song will play once through and stop on its own. But if your little one has fast fingers and wants to go through the book quickly, you may press the button again to stop the song before turning the page. BEFORE the reading experience, you will need to turn the book ON. Can I just say that I love, love, love the fact that this book has an off/on switch. I'm hoping this will help preserve the life of the battery.  I can see the pros and cons of having an off/on switch. You will need to remember to turn it off when you're finished.

Text: 3 out of 5
Illustrations: 3 out of 5
Bonus NOVELTY: 5 out of 5
Total: 11 out of 15

© 2018 Becky Laney of Young Readers

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