Nutcracker Night

Pajama Pr. Oct. 2019. 40p. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781772780918.
K-Gr 2–This story relates a trip by a girl and her father to see The Nutcracker from beginning to end, starting with the ride to the theater (‘Beep! Beep! Goes our taxi.”). We experience the arrival, orchestra tune-ups, the parting of the velvet curtains, main plot points, intermission, audience reactions, and more. Each sumptuous full-page spread contains the minimal amount of text necessary to set the scene. (“Chitter! Chatter! goes the crowd.”) Key to the text are its dynamic placement and the use of onomatopoetic words and phrases that are set in their own big, bold, distinctive type (“Swish,” “Pshhhh,” “Swoosh,” “Crrrick,” “Aww,” “Jingle-Jangle”). The painterly illustrations capture the excitement, energy, and lushness of it all with a bit of humor thrown in for good measure. The final page contains a short, child-friendly history of the Nutcracker and plot synopsis.
VERDICT A great primer, reminder, or armchair visit for seeing The Nutcracker live. Great for reading aloud and individual sharing.

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