About the Book
In this original retelling of the holiday classic, set in New York City during the height of the Harlem Renaissance, one little girl finds her voice as a musician thanks to her enchanting adventures with a magical toy. Full color.
A Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Book of the Year!
This jazz-inspired reinvention of The Nutcracker is a worthy tribute to the dreamlike wonder and magic of the Christmas season.
In this original retelling, set in New York City during the height of the Harlem Renaissance, one little girl finds her voice as a musician thanks to her enchanting adventures with a magical toy.
This quintessential holiday tale is brought to vivid life by debut picture book author T. E. McMorrow and Coretta Scott King Award-winning illustrator James Ransome. An author's note at the end provides additional information about the history of the Harlem Renaissance, and about the author's inspiration for this musical retelling.
From the Back Cover
Late at night on Christmas Eve, an enchanting toy introduces a young girl to a secret wonderland.
The whimsy and beauty of E. T. A. Hoffmann's classic story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King has fascinated readers and audiences for more than two hundred years. The music of Tchaikovsky's famous ballet is forever linked to the story in our minds--but another kind of music sets the beat for this imaginative retelling. Set in New York City during the height of the Harlem Renaissance, this jazz-inspired reinvention of The Nutcracker is a worthy tribute to the dreamlike wonder and magic of the Christmas season.
"An intriguing integration of The Nutcracker's magic into a new setting, and a welcome addition to the shelf of Nutcracker-themed picture books."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Radiant watercolor illustrations use a palette of glowing jewel tones, especially deep blues and brilliant fuchsia for Marie's flowing dress."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"A familiar ballet story, reinterpreted with style."--Booklist
"Filled with motion, emotion, and period detail, Ransome's vivid watercolors celebrate the magic of both the fairy-tale world Marie dreams herself into and the vibrant real-life community that is eager to help her find her voice."--Publishers Weekly
"From the dreamy, lyrical jacket illustration to the moonlit street scene to the beautifully individualized portrayals of characters in period clothing, Ransome's deep-toned watercolor paintings bring the story and its Jazz Age background to life on the page."--Booklist
"This inventive book embeds the classic holiday ballet in the elegant Harlem Renaissance world of the 1920s...[Ransome's] rich jewel-toned art makes both indoor scenes and the New York City night vibrate with life and holiday wonder."--New York Times Book Review
"Ransome's watercolor illustrations enhance the story handsomely, and the author's end note gives a brief background on the Harlem Renaissance."--School Library Journal
"[McMorrow's] well-crafted, quasi-homage to the original "Nutcracker," together with illustrations that help the imagination run wild and the inclusive theme of Christmas magic, will be sure to provide an escape from the tedium of the imminent commercial holiday season."--East Hampton Star
"Each page is filled with sumptuous illustrations and paintings by Mr. Ransome..."--East Hampton Star
"T.E. McMorrow has breathed new life into a children's Christmas classic... [it] begs to be on the shelves now rather than later."--East Hampton Star