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The Nutcracker

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  246 ratings  ·  40 reviews
The New York City Ballet presents a classic ballet tale for a modern ballet lover with George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, a holiday favorite.

The New York City Ballet is known for showcasing classic stories of the ballet with their trademark stylish and modern sensibility. For the first time, this beloved holiday story is told based on George Balanchine’s quintessential
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 20th 2016 by Little Simon (first published 1815)
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Average rating 4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  246 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Char (lunarchar_)
Such a gorgeous retelling of the famous ballet - and what’s more fitting than reading it after seeing a version of the ballet last week?
LK Hunsaker
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful! This large, wonderfully illustrated picture book of the Nutcracker is a must for ballet lovers and nice for any child to enjoy.
Dec 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
First sentence: It was Christmas Eve at the Stahlbaums' house, and like children everywhere, Marie and Fritz were so excited that they could feel their toes tingle. Their parents were decorating the Christmas tree before the big holiday party, and Marie and Fritz were not allowed into the great room until it was done. They jostled each other to sneak a peek at the glittering tree through the keyhole.

Premise/plot: This is a picture book adaptation of the BALLET, George Balanchine's The
It's been a long time since I've seen the Nutcracker ballet, so it was fun to read this picture book based on that ballet. I was a bit surprised that the main character's name was Marie and not Clara, but the story remained pretty much how I remembered it. The broken Nutcracker coming to life to fight the Mouse King, and the trip to The Land of Sweets, and all the beautiful dancing that is so much a part of the story. Being based on the ballet, the illustrator chose to create illustrations that ...more
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely gorgeous version of The Nutcracker, based on the Balanchine ballet. Just gorgeous. I could hear the music in my head as I turned the pages. This would be a lovely book to pair with a cd of the music for a young fan, or as a way to become familiar with the story before going to the ballet. I have a feeling this might be coming home with me for keeps.
Sue Winson
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
The illustrations of this book are spectacular. Each of the picture is a fantastic masterpiece of its own: the colour scheme is romantically soft, the characters are stunning and fairytale-like, the composition is surreal and beautiful. I love them all!

The story is based on the world-famous ballet production. It is a nice story, but we probably can't expect it to make much sense or convey any deep meaningful lessons. After all, this is supposed to be a dance performance.

The story is
Feb 27, 2017 rated it liked it
The pictures were cute and I don't see the NYCB as cute. I feel it is more sophisticated. I also thought it was odd that Herr Droselmeier was able to bring his nephew and the nutcracker to the party. If the nephew is the nutcracker how can they both be there. Otherwise I liked the book. Like I said the pictures were cute and I could see the sweets dancing. All in all a fun book. The facts at the end were very interesting. I can't imagine wrangling that many people backstage.
Rebecca Ann
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
this is a gorgeous rendering of the Nutcracker ballet story (not the original tale). It runs a little long for a read-aloud, but really captures the spirit of the dance. I read this aloud with the sugarplum fairy dance playing in the background!
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
winterbreak bookaday #1. Beautiful stylized illustrations closely follow storyline of the 1993 movie of the Balanchine production of the Nutcracker ballet. Fun facts in the back.
Jan 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: dance
I like the style of the illustrations, and they match a lot of the Balanchine costumes and choreography well*. The book accurately tells the Balanchine ballet version of the story.

But some of the major beats of the story aren't actually in the illustrations. We don't see Marie initially meet Drosselmeier's nephew. We see the Nutcracker break, but Marie and Fritz are absent from that illustration. We don't see the nephew give Marie the bed, we don't see them dance together. We do see them say
Rebecca Manery
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
My three-year-old niece has loved to dance ever since she watched Leap. She was entranced by my video of the New York City Ballet's staging of The Nutcracker, so I wanted to give her a suitable Nutcracker book as a Christmas present. I was delighted that this book (I bought the reasonably priced board book, but there is also a larger, hardcover version) mirrors the NYCB performance. There's a lot of Nutcracker books out there, many of which reflect the 2018 Disney movie, but I preferred this one ...more
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books, ballet
As a picture book, it was okay. It was a bit text dense and for Miss 4 the plot was a bit disjointed. I ended up making up my own words. May appeal more to adults (i.e. I really like the ballet so it has a different meaning to me than Miss 4).

Miss 4 and I like to explore different books and authors at the library, sometimes around particular topics or themes. We try to get different ones out every week or so; it's fun for both of us to have the variety and to look at a mix of new & favourite
Jo Oehrlein
Jan 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books, dance
The story told in Balanchine's Nutcracker. Perfect for anyone going to see it live (currently in 2018 it's performed by New York City Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theater, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and Miami City Ballet) or anyone watching the recording with Macaulay Culkin. Note that the illustrations match the NYCB costumes best.

Those who are used to other Nutcrackers will notice differences that can make for interesting discussions.

I'm a bit surprised to see that
Rose English
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book 09 of my Goodreads Challenge 2019

I absolutely love this story and this was a beautifully illustrated book images by Valeria Docampo This version is based on the New York City Ballet and included some great facts at the back for example there were 50+ dancers and 60+ children involved. Wonderful.
Cara Bornemiss
Sep 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book had beautiful illustrations, the book was pretty to look at and I'm sure kids would feel the same way. This book is based on the New York City Ballet production of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker. Although I have never seen that ballet, judging the book off illustrations and words, the book is pretty great.
Dec 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wish I had read this sweet little book before seeing the ballet (in The Coliseum, London) as the ballet made no sense to me without any explanation. Love the illustrations. Also enjoyed the facts about the ballet production at the end of the story.
Dec 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-book
Beautiful illustrations but the text could use some sophistication
Dec 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Review to come soon.
Sophia Hartman
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
I like it!
Molly Cluff (Library!)
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christmas
Too texty for a storytime--the pictures were rather lovely.
Miss Clark
Feb 18, 2019 rated it liked it
A decent telling of the Nutcracker ballet, but I thought more could have been done with the illustrations.
Isabella (The Feminist Bookworm)
One of my favorite Nutcracker productions illustrated in a book!
Dec 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This brought me back to my childhood. E.T.A. Hoffman's Nutcracker was one of my favorites, along with the Tschaikovsky cassette. I attended the ballet frequently growing up. This would be a current publication for children to gain background knowledge before attending the ballet, or to familiarize themselves with a Christmas classic.
Dec 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book...

It is THE Christmas-feeling book that you have always wanted. The illustrations by Valeria Docampo are pure perfection.
Kid Lit Reviews
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, 2016-reviews
The Nutcracker Ballet has been my favorite ballet since I first saw it as a child of eight or nine. And the Land of the Sweets, it was my favorite part of the ballet. All those candies dancing, swirling and twisting around was a spectacle I’ll always remember. This Nutcracker tells the same story and Decampo’s illustrations brings the story alive on each spread. It may not be the same as seeing a live ballet, but it is so dramatically close I shivered from excitement. But first, I was angry— ...more
Luisa Knight
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
This edition is as deliciously exquisite as the play! I'd recommend this one over many others as the artwork is incredibly eye-appealing and delightfully enchanting.

(Note: If you don't mind books that have push buttons to play music, I'd say there's an even better version you should get as it plays Tchaikovsky's glorious music. As you turn each page, you can push a button that will play the corresponding music to that part of the story. It's entitled: The Nutcracker: Press the Note to Hear
Oct 12, 2016 rated it liked it
The classic holiday story is set against illustrations inspired by the New York City Ballet's production which infuses each image with drama and lyrical motion.

The writing is okay; I think other versions of this book have shown a bit brighter than the text here, but the basic story is there and fun facts about the production are included following the story.

The artwork and the potential to use this book as an introduction to the story for a family anticipating a live performance of the ballet
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Docampo, Valeria The Nutcracker. PICTURE BOOK. Little Simon, 2016. $18.

I think I have finally found my favorite Nutcracker! I am already a huge fan of Docampo as an illustrator, but the retelling of the story makes the ballet so much more understandable. Docampo combines simplicity and wonder in way that delights my eyes and ears equally. This is the version I would read many times to children before taking them to see the ballet.

EL (K-3) – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher.
Whole And
A lovely retelling of the Nutcracker with incredible facts from the New York City Ballet production. Thoroughly enjoyed the illustrations, story and true information about what goes into such an incredible production. Almost as good as being there in person. A wonderful addition to the winter and Christmas books to read.
Jillian Heise
Gorgeously illustrated, and fully told story, with extra explanation in the back matter. Would be great to share with kids who go to the ballet or will be going, to better understand the story. Brings back memories of childhood & family - we still go to The Nutcracker every year!
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