Nutcracker Night

Beep! Beep! go the taxis. Voof! go the velvet curtains. The Nutcracker ballet and New York City’s David H. Koch Theater come to life in this onomatopoeic representation of a little girl’s experience at the ballet. From the swish of her dress and the tick-tick-tick of the conductor’s baton to the twelve bongs of the clock and the pitter-patter of dancers’ feet, this special evening is filled with sensory treats for the eyes and especially the ears.

Nutcracker Night
Pajama Press, Fall 2019
Story by Mireille Messier
Illustrations by Gabrielle Grimard
40 pages
3-8 years old
ISBN : 978-1-77278-091-8
Jacketed hadcover
$22.95

The French version will be available November 2020
“La magie de Casse-Noisette” (Éditions Scholastic)

Themes: dance, ballet, sound words, performing arts, holidays, STEAM

Awards and Honours:
2019 Northern Lights Book Award: The Arts Winner

Reviews for Nutcracker Night:

“A sprightly introduction to the classic Christmas ballet….The spare text…[delivers] the story through a series of combinations of expertly chosen onomatopoeia and dialogue guiding readers from the anticipation of the ballet through its first act, intermission, the second act, the curtain call, and the child narrator’s closing, appreciative ‘Smooch!’ of thanks to her dad. Sure to elicit the storytime equivalent of ‘encore’ at Christmastime and beyond.”—Kirkus Reviews

“This vibrant tribute to a holiday tradition follows a sensory-filled adventure to a Nutcracker performance….A charming entrée for ballet-bound children.”—Publishers Weekly

“A good primer to complement a child’s first time seeing The Nutcracker and, for those familiar with it, a fresh take on a classic.”—The Horn Book Magazine

“Experience Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker through the eyes of a young girl attending the ballet in this fresh rendition of the beloved classic…The sights and sounds of the theater are center stage; musicians, dancers, and a lively audience interact through the onomatopoetic text.”—Foreword Reviews

Nutcracker Night captures the magic of a young school-aged child’s visit to the ballet with her father. The Nutcracker, a classic ballet, comes to life as a true auditory experience….The pen and ink with watercolour illustrations are both detailed and energetic….Highly Recommended.”—CM Magazine

“The onomatopoeic sounds bring the excitement of the night to life along with the beautiful illustrations rendered in watercolor, gouache, oil, colored pencil and digital media….This is a wonderful introduction to the ballet for young readers and will be enjoyed by fans of the holiday classic.”—Youth Services Book Review

“This delightful picture book would make a lovely December gift for a young child….The pictures here are charming, bringing the characters, audience members, musicians, and dancers to life. We see the rosy cheeks, the children awed by the night and the ones eager for more. There are many children, as would be expected for this ballet, and lots of ages of adults. Fathers and mothers, diversity of people, and a range of festive attire….Beautifully done.”—Canadian Bookworm

“[T]his beautifully illustrated book by Gabrielle Grimard are all the sounds a little girl hears as she attends the ballet with her dad….I haven’t had the privilege to attend a performance of the Nutcracker, but based on this book, I can imagine how beautiful it is.”—Booktime

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