February 19, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Waltz of the Snowflakes by Elly MacKay |SLJ Review

Get the latest SLJ reviews every month, subscribe today and save up to 35%.

redstarMACKAY, Elly. Waltz of the Snowflakes. illus. by Elly MacKay. 32p. Running Pr. Oct. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780762453382.

PreS-Gr 3 –This wordless picture book opens with Christmas just days away, but the only sign of holiday cheer is Gran’s holly leaf print dress and her excitement at having tickets to The Nutcracker. Granddaughter is far less enthused at having to venture out into the cold wet night and walk to the theater wearing fancy clothes (except for the high-tops on her feet—a nice touch). The situation is not improved when the boy who teases her in the lobby ends up sitting next to her. But then wisps of color come from the orchestra. The act one scene where Clara receives a nutcracker prince from Uncle Drosselmeyer vibrantly leaps from the page, and both boy and girl are enthralled by the music and the action. Bright backlighting makes MacKay’s paper-cut artwork look tangible, as if readers could peel the figures from the book and bring them to life. The absence of text allows the expressive illustrations to tell a multilayered story: the granddaughter’s progress from sullen reluctance to joy, her and the boy’s relationship of initial animosity to friendship, and, of course, the ballet’s plot. Even the title serves dual purposes as a nod to a movement in the show and the spontaneous dance between grandmother and granddaughter through the gently falling snow at the end. VERDICT Theatrical, magical, and very much of the season as seeing The Nutcracker itself.–Joanna Fabicon, Los Angeles Public Library

This review was published in the School Library Journal October 2017 issue.

Diversity and Cultural Competency Training: Collections & RA

Do you want to ensure that your library’s collections are diverse, equitable, inclusive, and well-read?

Do you want to become a more culturally literate librarian and a more effective advocate for your community?

We've developed a foundational online course—with live sessions on February 28 & March 14—that will explore key concepts essential to cultivating and promoting inclusive and equitable collections.
Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind