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THE NUTCRACKER by Berlie Doherty


adapted by Berlie Doherty & illustrated by Ian Beck

Age Range: 5 - 9

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-385-60437-8
Publisher: Collins & Brown/Trafalgar

The midnight-blue cover of this lovely interpretation draws the reader into the story with a snowy scene of Clara holding the toy Nutcracker aloft, as the Sugar Plum Fairy unfolds a bright-pink banner announcing the title. A starry curtain is drawn back to one side to suggest the theatrical connections of Hoffman’s beloved story, retold here in lyrical fashion by Carnegie Medalist Doherty. The grownup Clara’s first-person reminiscences allow for greater exploration of her feelings and her impressions of her fantastic journey to the kingdom of sweets. Beck’s watercolor-and-ink illustrations capture the magical nature of the story. The large size of the volume showcases the many full- and double-page illustrations, often augmented with spot art and decorated borders surrounding the text. This beautifully designed work closely parallels the story used in most ballet productions and will serve as an excellent preparation for children before seeing a holiday ballet performance. (Picture book. 5-9)