Book SynopsisA young mouse must save her production of The Nutcracker in a charming holiday tale from the author of The Gingerbread Pirates and the illustrator of A Series of Unfortunate Events. Hidden in Saint Petersburg's famed Mariinsky Theater are the world's tiniest ballet fans: the Mariinsky mice, including Esmeralda, a rising dancer in the Russian Mouse Ballet Company. Despite being unable to control her tail, Esmeralda has just been assigned the lead role of Clara in a ballet debuting at Christmas: The Nutcracker. But when she learns that the new ballet features mice as villains, her excitement turns to horror: the mice of Saint Petersburg will never come to see such a production. Meanwhile, nine-year-old Irina is convinced that the mice she's seen in the Mariinsky -- the mice her father, the custodian, is supposed to exterminate -- are not only fans of the ballet, but dancers themselves. No one will believe her, so it falls to Irina to help save the mice everyone else considers vermin . . . and perhaps to help Esmeralda ensure the future of the mouse company. Sweet and inventive, Kristin Kladstrup's ballet fantasy features artwork by beloved illustrator Brett Helquist, old-fashioned drama, and just a touch of holiday magic.
About the AuthorKristin Kladstrup is the author of the middle-grade novels The Book of Story Beginnings and Garden Princess, as well as the picture book The Gingerbread Pirates. She lives in Watertown, Massachusetts. Brett Helquist has illustrated numerous books for children, including Chasing Vermeer and its sequels by Blue Balliett and Martina & Chrissie: The Greatest Rivalry in the History of Sports by Phil Bildner. Brett Helquist lives in New York.