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The Nutcracker

par Susan Jeffers

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342857,937 (3.92)5
An abridged version of the story of Marie Stahlbaum, who helps break the spell on her toy nutcracker and watches him change into a handsome prince.

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Celebrated children's author and artist Susan Jeffers turns her attention to the ballet The Nutcracker in this lovely holiday picture-book. Pairing a simple text with beautiful artwork (created in watercolor, I believe), she spins the magical tale of Marie, who is given a wooden Nutcracker by her godfather for Christmas. All of the major incidents of the ballet - the battle between the Nutcracker and the Mouse King, the visit to the Land of Sweets, the national dances performed there - follow, as Marie's wonderful dream (or is it?) unfolds. The book concludes with the information that the Prince/Nutcracker eventually returns to marry Marie, when she is grown...

Jeffers' The Nutcracker is the sixth picture-book retelling of this tale that I have read, following upon versions presented by Alison Jay, Niroot Puttapipat, Shobhna Patel, Grace Maccarone, and Renate Raecke. I've also read a number of picture-books - Tallulah's Nutcracker, Ella Bella Ballerina and The Nutcracker, Zombelina Dances The Nutcracker - depicting young ballerinas either performing this ballet or learning about it. Suffice it to say, this is a popular topic for picture-books, although apparently in 2007, when Jeffers was considering working on this version, there was far less available. Her presentation is just lovely, and I particularly appreciated the spreads which contained multiple panels, showing various different scenes at once. The paintings here are rich, and quite appealing, capturing the charm of the story, and the detailed costumes and backdrops of each scene. I don't know that this is my absolute favorite, of the retellings I have read - that is probably the Puttapipat version - but it is quite winsome. Recommended to Jeffers' fans, and to anyone looking for excellent picture-books devoted to the story of The Nutcracker ballet. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Dec 11, 2018 |
A retelling of the Nutcracker ballet (which is already a retelling, of course). Well done, and the real star here is the pictures, which are stunning. Also for the nieces. ( )
  lycomayflower | Dec 6, 2018 |
The Nutcracker wrote by Susan Jeffers is a beautiful book for a child to read. This book is under the fantasy and fairytale genre. I enjoyed the book because I was a ballerina growing up. The book is made up of elaborate illustrations and simple text. The text and the pictures enhance each other by not saying everything that is shown. The book focuses on a little girl who receives a nutcracker at Christmas time, but it wasn't a typical nutcracker. I also love the Barbie movie that was made of this book. ( )
  katelynr97 | Apr 9, 2018 |
The Nutcracker is a classic fairy tale about a little girl who is given a Nutcracker for Christmas by her magical godfather. This is no ordinary Nutcracker, however. This Nutcracker was once a handsome prince who was put under an enchantment. The little girl breaks the enchantment by saving him in battle and the Prince takes her to his homeland where they enjoy a lovely ball and feast. Unfortunately, the night must end and the young girl must go home where her Nutcracker is still her simple Nutcracker. Once she expresses her love for the Prince to her Uncle, he breaks the spell permanently and the Prince and little girl grow up and live happily ever after.

When I was little and living in Massachusetts, my parents would take me into Boston to see the Nutcracker live. Honestly, this story was meant to be a ballet. The music and dancing all felt magical when seeing it live. That's why I particularly like this picture book version. Although many versions exist, very few incorporate the ballet. This one does so beautifully. ( )
  Jacki_H | Sep 23, 2016 |
4 1/2 - A timely read as we are taking O to see the Nutcracker this weekend. Nicely illustrated. ( )
  maddiemoof | Oct 20, 2015 |
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An abridged version of the story of Marie Stahlbaum, who helps break the spell on her toy nutcracker and watches him change into a handsome prince.

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Moyenne: (3.92)
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