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I have fond memories of seeing The Nutcracker at Christmastime when I was younger. While I liked the show, I enjoyed the experience even more - going to the theater, being with my family, and dressing up for something nice!
The Nutcracker Mice
written by Kristin Kladstrup
illustrated by Brett Helquist
published by Candlewick Press
Hidden in Saint Petersburg's famed Mariinsky Theater are the world's tiniest ballet fans: the Mariinsky mice, including Esmeralda, a rising dancer in the Russian Mouse Ballet Company. Despite being unable to control her tail, Esmeralda has just been assigned the lead role of Clara in a ballet debuting at Christmas: The Nutcracker. But when she learns that the new ballet features mice as villains, her excitement turns to horror: the mice of Saint Petersburg will never come to see such a production. Meanwhile, nine-year-old Irina is convinced that the mice she's seen in the Mariinsky -- the mice her father, the custodian, is supposed to exterminate -- are not only fans of the ballet, but dancers themselves. No one will believe her, so it falls to Irina to help save the mice everyone else considers vermin . . . and perhaps to help Esmeralda ensure the future of the mouse company. Sweet and inventive, Kristin Kladstrup's ballet fantasy features artwork by beloved illustrator Brett Helquist, old-fashioned drama, and just a touch of holiday magic.
I really enjoyed the changes in this book to The Nutcracker. As mentioned before, I liked going to see the ballet, but as a child, find it confusing to figure out the storyline when it is only told through dance. The changes that Esmeralda and family make fit to making it more enjoyable and relatable. The adventures they go on to obtain costumes and sets are fun and exciting. This will be a fun holiday read that can be enjoyed year round.
I first heard about this book from my dear book friend, Victoria Coe. She thought this would be a book that would be perfect for our #road2reading challenge posts, and she was right! This is a book that will appeal to a variety of readers in the upper primary to intermediate grades. It's a longer book, coming in at over 300 pages, but it has a lot of illustrations (done by the amazing Brett Helquist) that help provide visual supports for readers. This book has shorter chapters and it has a smaller size, so shorter pages, all which will help support readers. I think this book will appeal to readers who enjoyed Firefly Hollow, The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp or Appleblossom the Possum.
Don't miss this book when it publishes next week! It will be a great one to add to your collection this season.
Stop by Alyson's blog to check out a new nonfiction chapter book series.
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