Every December, The Nutcracker comes to life in theaters all across the United States. But how did this 19th-century Russian ballet become such a big part of the holidays in 21st-century America?
Meet Willam, Harold, and Lew Christensen, three small-town Utah boys who caught the ballet bug in the early 1900s. They performed on vaudeville and took part in the New York City dance scene. Russian immigrants shared the story of The Nutcracker with them, and during World War II, they staged their own Christmastime production in San Francisco. It was America's first full-length version and the beginning of a delightful holiday tradition.
About the Author
Chris Barton is the author of acclaimed nonfiction picture books including Dazzle Ships, Whoosh!, What Do You Do with a Voice Like That?, and The Day-Glo Brothers, which was awarded a Sibert Honor. Chris lives in Austin, Texas, with his family. Visit his website at www.chrisbarton.info.
Cathy Gendron has been an illustrator for more than twenty years. She is also a teacher at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. She lives and works in Ann Arbor, Michigan.