It is Christmas Eve at Clara’s house. Scents of ginger, chocolate, and peppermint waft through the air. Clara’s parents are having a party, and her little brother Fritz is decorating the Christmas tree. Clara’s godfather, a toymaker, arrives with gifts, including a very special one for her—a wooden nutcracker carved in the shape of a little man. After Fritz breaks it, the children are sent to bed.
The story follows Clara in her dreams as she battles and defeats a mouse king, then travels with her nutcracker-turned-prince to the Land of Sweets where she watches its enchanting inhabitants perform beautiful dances. As you and your little one journey through the magical scenes, you will press the buttons to hear 10 excerpts from the ballet’s music, including “The Waltz of the Flowers,” “The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy,” “The Russian Dance,” and the awesome “Finale.”
At the back of the book, find a short biography of the composer, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, with details about his composition of The Nutcracker ballet. Next to this, you can replay the musical excerpts and, for each of them, read a discussion of the instruments, rhythms, and musical techniques that make them so powerful. A glossary defines musical terms.
The Story Orchestra series brings classical music to life for children through gorgeously illustrated retellings of classic ballet stories paired with 10-second sound clips of orchestras playing from their musical scores.
Manufacturer's note: please pull the white tab out of the back of the book before use. Sound buttons require a firm push in exact location to work, which may be hard for young children. All sound clips are 10 seconds long.
About the Author
Jessica Courtney-Tickle is an illustrator who graduated from Kingston University in July 2014. Her absolute favorite thing to draw or paint is nature, finding a focus on foliage of any kind as well as children's stories about adventure and exploration. She also has a penchant for drawing theater from music makers to dancers and even singing animals. Jessica is most influenced by vintage picture books, travel posters, and folk art as well as numerous painters and printmakers.
Katy Flint is an author, editor, and musician, based in London. She studied violin at the University of Southampton, before moving into children's books. She is the author of the best-selling sound book The Story Orchestra: The Nutcracker, and has worked on many other non-fiction titles – from human bodies to dinosaurs.