The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker

4.0 2
by Alison Jay, Annmarie Harris
     
 

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Based on the Balanchine ballet, this sumptuous package is the perfect gift for any fan of The Nutcracker-young or old. The nicely balanced text (not too much, not too little) captures all the best moments and sets the stage for Alison Jay's richly imagined art. Sharp-eyed readers will notice tiny details playing out thrillingly over the course of the story

Overview

Based on the Balanchine ballet, this sumptuous package is the perfect gift for any fan of The Nutcracker-young or old. The nicely balanced text (not too much, not too little) captures all the best moments and sets the stage for Alison Jay's richly imagined art. Sharp-eyed readers will notice tiny details playing out thrillingly over the course of the story (keep an eye on the gifts under the Christmas tree!). From the cozy Christmas party to the delectable Marzipan Palace, Alison Jay's artwork is truly enchanting-a snow-globe version of The Nutcracker to read every night before Christmas and all winter long.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Jay's delicate crackle-varnish oil paintings--equal parts elegant and whimsical--distinguish this edition of Hoffman's Nutcracker, based on Balanchine's staging of the ballet. On Christmas Eve, Clara, who looks like a doll herself, and her enchanted playthings cavort in dramatic fashion through a distant, sweets-filled dreamland. Jay's gleaming marzipan palace, pink spun-sugar trees, and peppermint-stick gates are the stuff of holiday visions, indeed. Ages 3–5. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Carrie Hane Hung
It's Christmas Eve. Clara and the children wait for the arrival of Clara's godfather who is a toy and clock maker. He presents the children with special gifts. Clara unwraps her present, a Nutcracker shaped like a soldier, which she adores. Unfortunately, Clara's brother breaks the nutcracker when he roughly snaps the lever. Clara is disappointed. Godfather Drosselmeyer uses a handkerchief to keep the parts together until he can repair it the next day. At bedtime, the children place their toys including the nutcracker under the tree. In the middle of the night, Clara wakes up because she can't sleep. Quietly, she goes downstairs and snuggles with her nutcracker underneath the Christmas tree. When the clock chimes, incredible things begin to happen and Clara has quite a wondrous adventure which includes a visit to the Land of Sweets with a prince. This magical, classic tale about the Nutcracker is based on E.T.A. Hoffman's story. The illustrations are beautiful with their rich, warm, oil paint colors with crackling varnish. A tale for a family to enjoy together. Reviewer: Carrie Hane Hung
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—Jay bases the illustrations for this classic tale on the Balanchine ballet. The smooth and somewhat abbreviated retelling is suitable for reading aloud, and the art created using oil paint on paper with crackling varnish evokes the ballet without being literal restagings. The cover depicts a snow globe with Clara and the prince being pulled in a sleigh through the Land of Snow, but that motif is not reflected in the interior illustrations. Most libraries have many versions of The Nutcracker in their collections; this one is handsome and acceptable if more editions are needed.—Virginia Walter, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies
Kirkus Reviews

Adults preparing children for a performance of this popular holiday ballet often find themselves seeking a simplified adaptation of the story. This retelling, which is based on the Balanchine version of the ballet, is intended to be short enough to read through at one sitting, but the text is still too long and a little too complex for most younger children. Jay's delicate oil paintings are done with her signature folk-art–style crackled overglaze. The characters, especially young Clara, seem more like old-fashioned dolls posed in scenes than real people or even real dancers performing a ballet. The muted colors, period costumes and large scenes filled with tiny dancers, while attractive, create an unfortunate distancing effect. Still doesn't fit the bill for ballet prep—Susan Jeffers's Nutcracker (2007) is the gold standard for this purpose. (Picture book. 5-9)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803732858
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
10/14/2010
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
1,103,935
Product dimensions:
10.52(w) x 11.54(h) x 0.46(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Alison Jay lives in London, England.

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The Nutcracker 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
KellyofPA More than 1 year ago
The illustrations were excellent! Perfect for my children who had just seen the ballet and loved it. it helped them understand the ballet better. They are now 3(girl) and 6(boy), that wonderful imaginative age:) Certainly recommended as a book to pass on from generation to generation, just as the story is.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought it was strange that the nutcracker prince is married to the sugar plum.