Posted by: montclairlibrary | December 21, 2016

Nutcracker season

Nutcracker books, a list by the Friends of Montclair Library

Whether you have kids getting ready to attend a holiday performance of “The Nutcracker” or a tiny dancer dreaming of being in the production, here are some books to introduce you to the ballet’s story, music and history. (Tip: If you don’t see these books on the shelves, look in the Holiday Books section — or if it’s not December, ask a librarian if they’re put away somewhere.)

The Nutcracker Ballet retold by Melissa Hayden (J 792.84 HAYDEN) – Relates the story of the popular ballet, in which a little girl travels with the Nutcracker Prince to the Land of Sweets.

The Nutcracker by Susan Jeffers (J PICBK JEFFERS) – An abridged version of the story of Marie Stahlbaum, who helps break the spell on her toy nutcracker and watches him change into a handsome prince.

The Nutcracker by Alison Jay (J PICBK JAY) (not at Montclair) – After rescuing her Christmas nutcracker from an army of angry toys, Clara is rewarded by the nutcracker, now a prince, with a fantastic nighttime journey to a realm of dancing fairies, beautiful palaces and wonderful things to eat.
Although this book’s not at Montclair, it’s worth seeking out because of Jay’s exquisite illustrations.

Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffmann (J FIC HOFFMANN) – Maurice Sendak illustrated this re-telling of the familiar story of how a little girl helps break the spell on her toy nutcracker and changes him into a handsome prince.

The Harlem Nutcracker by Susan Kuklin and Donald Byrd (J FIC KUKLIN) (not at Montclair) – A retelling of the classic story of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker ballet, featuring an African American grandmother and her family and set in Harlem.

The Nutcracker Ballet by Vladimir Vagin (J FIC VAGIN) – On Christmas Eve, a little girl helps break the spell on her wooden nutcracker and transforms him into a handsome prince, who takes her to his kingdom in the Land of Sweets.

The Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffmann (J PICBK NUTCRACKE) – A young girl receives a nutcracker for Christmas and, after learning how he got his ugly face, helps break a spell and change him into a handsome prince. Includes a CD of the music from the ballet.

The Nutcracker by E. T. A. Hoffman; adapted by Janet Schulman ; performed by Claire Bloom (J KIT 398.2 HOFFMAN) – The story of the Nutcracker unfolds to the tune of Tchaikovsky’s suite on the included CD.

The Nutcracker retold by Stephanie Spinner (J KIT FIC SPINNER) – In this retelling of the original 1816 German story, Godfather Drosselmeier gives young Marie a nutcracker for Christmas, and she finds herself in a magical realm where she saves the nutcracker and sees him change into a handsome prince. Includes a CD of Tchaikovsky’s music.

The Nutcracker Comes to America: How Three Ballet-loving Brothers Created a Holiday Tradition by Chris Barton (J 792.842 BARTON) (not at Montclair) – A sumptuously illustrated picture book account of how The Nutcracker ballet became an American holiday tradition traces the efforts of three vaudeville-performing siblings who staged their own production in the early 1900s after being introduced to the ballet by Russian immigrants.

Becoming a Ballerina: A Nutcracker Story by Lise Friedman & Mary Dowdle (J 792.8 FRIEDMAN) – Traces the daily experiences of a thirteen-year-old ballerina preparing to perform the lead role in the Boston Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker.

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker photographed & told by Joel Meyerowitz (J 792.842 MEYEROWIT) – Photographs taken during the film production, capture all the elegant and rich movement of George Balanchine’s ballet.

(And don’t forget Lili at Ballet by Rachel Isadora, about a girl preparing to appear in The Nutcracker, which we included in our recent list of ballet books.)


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