Picture Book Highlights | The Nutcracker

By Monica C. RSS Thu, December 9, 2021

It’s a well-established tradition at the end of the year that ballet companies everywhere offer performances of The Nutcracker. The Philadelphia Ballet presentation of this seasonal performance is for all ages and a perfect introduction to ballet.  

Whether you’re going or not, whether you’ve seen it or have yet to see it, these picture books are a great introduction to this wonderful holiday event!

Charlotte and The Nutcracker: The True Story of a Girl Who Made Ballet History written by Charlotte Nebres; illustrated by Alea Marley

The only thing Charlotte loves as much as ballet is Christmas. When she gets the opportunity to play Marie in the New York City Ballet’s adaptation of The Nutcracker, she leaps at the chance. Dancing takes practice, with hours of adjusting her arms and perfecting her jumps. With the help of her Trinidadian and Filipino families, encouragement from her sister, and a view of her mom and dad in the audience, Charlotte finds the strength to never give up.

Bea in the Nutcracker by Rachel Isadora

Bea and her friends are excited to put on their costumes and dance on stage in The Nutcracker! Bea is going to be Clara and Sam is going to be the Prince. They will dance in the ballet’s magical Land of Sweets. Yum!

The Nutcracker in Harlem written by T.E.Morrow; illustrated by James Ransome

This musical reimagining of the beloved classic is set in New York City at the height of the Harlem Renaissance, at a glittering holiday party where one little girl finds her voice as a musician thanks to her enchanting adventures with a magical toy.

Tallulah’s Nutcracker written by Marilyn Singer; illustrated by Alexandra Boiger

It’s Christmastime and Tallulah finally gets what she’s been wishing for—a part in a real ballet, a professional production of The Nutcracker. She’s only a mouse, but she works as hard as if she had been cast as the Sugar Plum Fairy. On the night of the show, everything is perfect. But then disaster strikes! Does Tallulah have what it takes to become a real ballerina?

For older readers

A Child’s Introduction to The Nutcracker: The Story, Music, Costumes, and Choreography of the Fairy Tale Ballet written by Heather Alexander; illustrated by Amélie Videlo

Whether The Nutcracker is your first ballet experience or you’re already a master dancer, everything you love and want to know about this special, sugar-spun, snow-dusted ballet can be found in these delightful pages. Follow The Nutcracker as it makes its way from page to stage, becoming the world’s most popular holiday ballet. Learn all about the dazzling steps, spins, and jumps choreographed by Petipa, Ivanov, and Balanchine, and meet the famed composer Tchaikovsky. Special sections highlight some of the most famous dancers and companies that have brought the performance and the magic of this ballet to life.

Be sure to check our catalog and Overdrive Kids eReading Room, for these titles and many more being added!

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