The Story Orchestra: The Nutcracker
Author(s) / Illustrator(s): Jessica Courtney-Tickle
Published by: Frances Lincoln Publishers, 2017
Follow Clara on a magical Christmas adventure in this musical retelling of The Nutcracker ballet - push the button on each beautiful scene to hear the vivid sound of an orchestra playing from Tchaikovsky's original score. 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, opera and program music stories paired with 10-second sound clips of orchestras playing from their musical scores.