The Nutcracker

Written and illustrated  by
Jan Brett
G. P. Putnam's Sons
ISBN  978-0-399-17074-4


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     Of the many hours I have spent listening to music in Symphony Hall in Boston, Tchaikovsky's THE NUTCRACKER brings the most vivid imaginings, together with a wish that every child could experience the transporting, fantastical music.
           With E.T.A. Hoffmann's 1816 story THE NUTCRACKER AND THE MOUSE KING and happy memories of THE NUTCRACKER as my guide, this book is my visualization of Tchaikovsky's enchanted music. From the 'Overture in Miniature' during the Christmas Eve party, the 'March' that plays with the battle against the wicked Mouse King, the string of dances through the Land of Sweets, and all the way to the 'Waltz of Flowers' at the end, the music's ebbs and flows inspired fanciful scenes for the beloved characters that Marie and the Nutcracker meet throughout their journey. The music also reminds me of trips to Saint Petersburg and the Baltic sea, so a Russian setting seems perfect. And look for animals playing the instruments you'll hear in each of the numbers in THE NUTCRACKER SUITE. I am especially fond of the basson sounding like the puffing dragon.  I hope this book transports readers through magical sights and sounds as the music of THE NUTCRA KER SUITE does for me.