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The Nutcracker

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The Nutcracker has enthralled children for more than a century. As the lights go down and the curtain is raised to reveal a perfect Christmas scene, every child can see at last what really happens when the house is asleep and the toys come alive. David Freeman retells the story of Clara, the brave little girl who saves the wounded Nutcracker doll from the wicked Mouse King, while Joanna Isles' vibrant characters dance across the page, with every scene exquisitely framed in an elaborate border. A jewel of a book ...

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Isles, Joanna 1999 Trade paperback New. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 40 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: Children/juvenile. never read: my-posted 8/14

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Overview

The Nutcracker has enthralled children for more than a century. As the lights go down and the curtain is raised to reveal a perfect Christmas scene, every child can see at last what really happens when the house is asleep and the toys come alive. David Freeman retells the story of Clara, the brave little girl who saves the wounded Nutcracker doll from the wicked Mouse King, while Joanna Isles' vibrant characters dance across the page, with every scene exquisitely framed in an elaborate border. A jewel of a book that children will treasure.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
An intricate design and festively colored illustrations are the highlights of this offering. Borders filled with patterns surround the text and lively illustrations, creating the look of a theater setSand the characters' elaborate costumes add to the spectacle. Short enough to be read aloud, but detailed enough to make a satisfying storySa welcome addition.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3Intricately designed and festively colored illustrations are the highlights of this offering. Borders filled with repeated or echoed patterns surround and support both the blocks of text and lively illustrations, creating the look of a theater set. Many of the stylized, doll-like characters are dressed or adorned with patterns of their own; they fill the pages with color and decorative elements. During the party scenes, bright reds, yellows, and greens dominate. In the night/dream sequences, gold and dusky purple are used. When Clara and the Prince visit his kingdom, the brighter colors return, as do the intricately repeated patterns and layouts. Streamers and confetti are scattered across several pages and the characters' elaborate costumes add to the spectacle. Some of the more complex party scenes have a kaleidoscope effect to them as patterns mix and repeat in unexpected ways. Short enough to be read aloud, but detailed enough to make a satisfying story, this retelling will be a welcome addition.
Kirkus Reviews
An uninspiring version of the famous ballet is decorated, not illustrated, with undue attention on borders, designs, and patterns, painted in attenuated variants of candy colors, and characters and action in the background. Freeman proceeds as if readers are as familiar with the story as he is, stating that Clara and her brother, Fritz, watch "in awe and amazement as the guests arrived." Nothing awesome appears in the text or in the pictures; that page portrays two silly-looking guests in disastrous parodies of party attire, along with a child who turns out to be Clara (almost out of the frame) and Fritz nowhere to be found; ribbons and confetti fill all of the small scene's space, yet fail to depict anything extraordinary. The events of the narrative are not well-portrayed; instead, one small action is usually the focus and the rest of the page is filled with ornamentation. The book tells the story adequately for those on the way to the ballet, but the charm of Isles's work for A Proper Tea (1989) is lost on this one.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781862052734
  • Publisher: Anova Books
  • Publication date: 9/28/1999
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 5 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.26 (d)

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