The diminutive star of Bea at Ballet (2012) returns for an encore, this time dancing the starring role of Clara in a production of The Nutcracker ballet.
In a charming and accessible introduction to the beloved holiday classic, Bea and her ballet school classmates perform a simplified interpretation of The Nutcracker. The group of dancers, who appear to be only 3 or 4 years old, includes adorably costumed children of different ethnicities, indicated by hairstyles and facial features rather than skin tone, as the children are outlined against white backgrounds. The ballet’s plot is skillfully summarized, including integral elements such as the Nutcracker/Prince, the battle between the mice and the soldiers, and the visit to the Land of Sweets. (Godfather Drosselmeyer and the scary Mouse King are absent.) The text, set in attractive silvery type, is just one sentence per page plus some speech balloons, reduced to the simplest terms that even young preschoolers will easily comprehend. Isadora is a former ballet dancer who has been writing and illustrating children’s books about ballet for over 30 years. She conveys the magical aspects of the beloved holiday ballet in an easy, straightforward way that will prepare first-time attendees for a holiday performance. There are many attractive picture-book versions of The Nutcracker available, but this is by far the simplest interpretation in print.
A sugarplum-sweet treat. (Picture book. 2-5)