The Nutcracker casts its enchantment in this wordless picture book.
A scowling young white girl is reluctant to put on fancy clothes and attend a performance of The Nutcracker with her mother. A rainstorm outside, depicted in shades of brown and dark blue, matches her mood inside until the orchestra begins the overture, and suddenly her eyes light up with wonder. Sepia-toned panels of the girl and a young boy and his father, both black, sitting next to her alternate with the lively action and bright colors of Act 1 as the heroic Nutcracker prince defeats the sword-wielding Mouse King. The two youngsters are each caught up in the magic. Act 2 opens with a lovely double-page spread decorated with glimpses of the dances to come, while smiling faces in the sepia panels continue to alternate with panels of colorful performers. The ballet ends and the two children are filled with joy, applauding enthusiastically. Mother and daughter leave the theater and ice dance together in a perfect finale. This wordless tale, told entirely in expressive, graphic format, is a fresh and wonderful addition to the crowded Nutcracker shelves. In MacKay’s trademark cut-paper dioramas children can imagine themselves seated in the theater and dancing on the stage.
Graphic panels are the perfect presentation format for a favorite ballet. (Picture book. 4-7)