The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker

3.5 4
by Stephanie Spinner, Peter Malone
     
 

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THE NUTCRACKER IS A Christmas tradition, and for most children it is their introduction to ballet. Here, in one beautifully illustrated book, is the story of the ballet and a 78-minute CD of Tchaikovsky’s music performed by the Utah Symphony Orchestra. Stephanie Spinner has written a brief, lyrical text about the little girl, Maria, and her Christmas gift…  See more details below

Overview

THE NUTCRACKER IS A Christmas tradition, and for most children it is their introduction to ballet. Here, in one beautifully illustrated book, is the story of the ballet and a 78-minute CD of Tchaikovsky’s music performed by the Utah Symphony Orchestra. Stephanie Spinner has written a brief, lyrical text about the little girl, Maria, and her Christmas gift of a wooden nutcracker doll who is transformed into a young prince. Together they fly to the Land of Sweets where the Sugar Plum Fairy entertains them with lively and exotic dances from around the world. Peter Malone's exquisite illustrations capture all the magic of the beloved Christmastime ballet.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

K-Gr 4

Each holiday season seems to generate a new batch of picture-book versions of The Nutcracker . This edition adds little to the selections already in most collections. The relatively lengthy text tells the complete story of the ballet. Malone's exquisite watercolors depict a late-18th-century household in which a generous godfather presents his rather odd gifts of life-sized dolls and a small nutcracker figure that come alive in Clara's dream. An author's endnote gives the history of the ballet. A CD of the score performed by the Utah Symphony Orchestra is included.-Virginia Walter, University of California, Los Angeles

Kirkus Reviews
Children preparing to attend a holiday performance of The Nutcracker will find this a helpful introduction to the beloved ballet. The text follows the ballet's plot in straightforward chronological order, but this retelling ends (a little too soon) with Marie (and her prince) still in the Land of Sweets, just before Marie wakes up from her dream. The smoothly written story introduces all the major characters and dancers and includes dialogue that helps to clarify the plot. Malone's watercolor illustrations are done in a muted palette with hazy lighting, emphasizing the 19th-century setting and the mysterious, dreamy aspects of the story; the colors and lighting brighten to delineate the magical nature of the Land of Sweets. Some of the main characters are illustrated more as actors in a play rather than as ballet dancers; the Sugar Plum Fairy, for example, is shown as a fairy with wings and bare feet, rather than as a ballerina with pointe shoes. A full-page author's note gives a brief performance history of the ballet, and a fully orchestrated CD of the complete ballet is included. (Picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375844645
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
10/14/2008
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
437,211
Product dimensions:
10.10(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Stephanie Spinner is the author of many highly praised children’s books ranging from It’s a Miracle! A Hanukkah Storybook (Schwartz/Athenaeum) and the Step-Up Classic Dracula to the middle-grade novel Aliens for Breakfast (with John Etra), and Quiver, Quicksilver, and Damosel, young adult retellings of myths. She lives in Sherman, Connecticut.

Peter Malone illustrated the Knopf edition of Peter and the Wolf, also with a CD and in the same format as The Nutcracker. His illustrations have appeared in The New Yorker and on British Royal Mail stamps. He lives in Oxford, England.

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Nutcracker 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this to add to my collection of Nutcracker books. My 7 year old granddaughter loved it. The CD is divided into the scenes of the ballet. Made it much more enjoyable.
kalbright More than 1 year ago
Loved that it came with a CD of the music. It was my son's favorite Christmas story this year.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago