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Nutcracker
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Nutcracker

4.0 14
by Susan Jeffers
 

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Caldecott Honor and New York Times bestselling artist Susan Jeffers has created a Nutcracker as only she can—with lavish illustrations, magnificent detail, and enchanting holiday scenes on every page. This is the Nutcracker as you’ve never seen it before!

Join Marie, Fritz, and the intriguing Nutcracker himself on a magical

Overview

Caldecott Honor and New York Times bestselling artist Susan Jeffers has created a Nutcracker as only she can—with lavish illustrations, magnificent detail, and enchanting holiday scenes on every page. This is the Nutcracker as you’ve never seen it before!

Join Marie, Fritz, and the intriguing Nutcracker himself on a magical adventure only possible on a night like Christmas Eve. Behold the frightful Mouse King, the elegant Sugar Plum fairies, and the entire Land of Sweets in this dazzling, gorgeously-illustrated holiday classic. With spare text based on the story in the ballet, this book offers a front-row seat to the charming tale that is a perennial favorite of children and adults alike. 

Editorial Reviews

ALA Booklist
“Jeffers’ lush watercolors...will wholly satisfy families...this treatment will earn curtain calls galore.”
The Horn Book
“{Jeffers’s] romantic, detail-rich illustrations are based on the Balanchine ballet...Jeffers offers a satisfying extension”
Abby McGanney Nolan
Susan Jeffers's version of The Nutcracker is not a full translation of the original, but its precise and pretty watercolors, semi-traditional treatment and spare text make it a wonderful introduction for young children.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

Jeffers (Brother Eagle, Sister Sky) raises the curtain on an energetic and child-friendly distillation of the Nutcrackerballet (as opposed to the full-length E.T.A. Hoffman fairy tale). Here ballerinas in an array of tutus pirouette and waltz through the magical elements of that tale, familiar to many young dance students. Jeffers's soft watercolors, adopting a range of perspectives, capture both the drama of the classic story and the elegance of choreography, in a volume likely to leave youngsters longing to attend a live performance. Ages 3-8. (Oct.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - Meredith Kiger
This retelling of the famous folktale/ballet is designed to interest young children. With the ballet as a backdrop, the author has edited the original version to a length appropriate for picture book readers. The traditional illustrations bring the story of Marie, Herr Drosselmeier, The Nutcracker, and the Mouse king alive, featuring scenes from the ballet. All the grandeur and excitement of this 19th century tale is included, with a bit of an elaboration to the ending, which makes it even more of a fairy tale. Parents will want to play the score by Tchaikovsky to expand the experience and bring it further to life. Reviewer: Meredith Kiger, Ph.D.
Children's Literature - Ken and Sylvia Marantz
Jeffers has chosen to retell only the ballet part of the original Nutcracker fairy tale in a version for young children. On Christmas Eve at the party at their parents' home, Marie and Fritz Stahlbaum gladly greet Herr Drosselmeier, the toy-maker and Marie's godfather. Among the presents he brings are toy soldiers for Fritz and a wooden Nutcracker for Marie. Fritz breaks the Nutcracker, Marie tends it, Herr Drosselmeier casts "a bit of magic," and Marie finds herself attacked by an army of mice and defended by the soldiers commanded by the Nutcracker. After Marie saves him, the Nutcracker turns into a prince. They go to the Land of Sweets for a celebration. Years later there is the traditional happy ending. Jeffers visualizes a theatrical setting beginning on the front endpapers, where angels watch as horse-drawn carriages arrive at the party. As the story begins we see scenes of the inside of the Stahlbaum mansion, from the busy basement kitchen to the ballroom to the empty bedrooms. The painted illustrations are detailed and naturalistic, almost too pretty for the undergirding magic. Even the mice, except for the King, are more cuddly than evil. The dance scenes are particularly joyous. In a note, Jeffers explains her reasons for her version of the story. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

Jeffers (Brother Eagle, Sister Sky) raises the curtain on an energetic and child-friendly distillation of the Nutcrackerballet (as opposed to the full-length E.T.A. Hoffman fairy tale). Here ballerinas in an array of tutus pirouette and waltz through the magical elements of that tale, familiar to many young dance students. Jeffers's soft watercolors, adopting a range of perspectives, capture both the drama of the classic story and the elegance of choreography, in a volume likely to leave youngsters longing to attend a live performance. Ages 3-8. (Oct.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
Jeffers puts her immediately recognizable style to fine use in her illustrations of the story from the beloved holiday ballet. The oversized cover of this beautifully designed edition is filled with a compelling, close-up portrait of Marie as she holds her Nutcracker close, with the title in metallic gold letters partially covered by Marie's flowing golden tresses. The illustrations closely follow the plot of the ballet, with the familiar progression of the party scene full of swirling skirts and the appearance of the Nutcracker, the battle scene with the defeat of the Mouse King and the journey to the magical Land of Sweets, filled with scenes of dancers in minty pastels and jeweled accents. An author's note offers information about the history of the ballet and the approach Jeffers followed in designing this lovely interpretation. The story is skillfully retold with just a few lines of text per page, making this an excellent introduction to the ballet for younger children. This will likely be the new standard choice for reading to little ones prior to attending a holiday performance. (Picture book. 3-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060743864
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/25/2007
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
47,941
Product dimensions:
9.60(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Susan Jeffers is a New York Times bestselling artist who has won the ABBY Award from the American Booksellers Association and a Caldecott Honor from the American Library Association. Her work has been exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Norman Rockwell Museum. Her books have sold millions of copies and have been published around the world. She lives in Westchester County, New York. Visit her online at www.susanjeffersart.com.

Susan Jeffers is a New York Times bestselling artist who has won the ABBY Award from the American Booksellers Association and a Caldecott Honor from the American Library Association. Her work has been exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Norman Rockwell Museum. Her books have sold millions of copies and have been published around the world. She lives in Westchester County, New York. Visit her online at www.susanjeffersart.com.

Customer Reviews

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Nutcracker 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
latinaartemis More than 1 year ago
This book exceeded my expectations. I read this to my girls (who are 3 and 5 years old) and they loved it. The pictures are gorgeous and the story is short and to-the-point. I read the auther's notes, and her main goal was to make the Nutcracker short enough to keep the attention of young children. This story is exactly that, I would recommend it to an elementary school teacher to read to his/her students for story time, or parents with young children. Although it's short, it doesn't take away from the story.
Merfemfay77 More than 1 year ago
Luvly art & story. THE ONLY ENDING FOR THIS TALE. SHOULD HAV MOR UBOUT Thair Time in thee kingdem of sweets, EXACTLY the WAY the ORIGINAL DID, HOWEVER.
memaJ More than 1 year ago
this was the best told nutcracker i have read in years for children ages 4 to 8. it was clear to the point and understandable. the pictures were great too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jeffers is one of my favorite illustrators of children's classic. I try to always give her books as gifts.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wanted my 4 year old daughter to have some idea of the Nutcracker story before attending the ballet. Most nutcracker stories are not about the Ballet, this one is. It gives a good overview of the story in simple short pages. The only drawbacks are that this author calls the main character Marie when I have always seen her name to be Clara and for people in Seattle the PNB version of the ballet is different from the standard Ballet story so it is a bit confusing for little ones.
Funtoread More than 1 year ago
Beautiful illustrations and the story is told in a traditional, engaging manner. Children of all ages will love this book!
GAMOMof4 More than 1 year ago
We have a large collection of Christmas story books and this is one of my 3 sons' favorites. They love to see the toy soldiers and the mouse king. Next year we even plan to see the ballet! I'm certain as my infant daughter gets older that it will be a favorite of hers as well.The illustrations are beautiful and the story is simply told and well paced.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I understand making the story a little different in order to be appropriate for young children, but WHY did she change her name from Clara to Marie?? Very disappointing.
lb7 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! Jeffers artwork is known to me and is very beautiful. I purchased this book for my 4 year old grand-daughter who will hopefully see her cousin in the ballet next Christmas. Jeffers was correct when she said that most 'nutcracker' stories are not well suited for the younger child. Kudos Susan Jeffers!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The illustrations are beautiful and enchanting and add a lot to the story. I didn't like the fact that the author took liberties with a classic story and changed the storyline. I expected to read the traditional story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i love it
TXNO More than 1 year ago
I bought this book to introduce my granddaughter to The Nutcracker before actually taking her to the ballet. She became familiar with the story and enjoyed the ballet that much more. In the US, the main character is commonly referred to as Clara. In this book her name was Maria......other than that, it was a nice addition to our Christmas children's library.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago