cover image The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker

New York City Ballet, illus. by Valeria Docampo. Little Simon, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4814-5829-0

Based on the New York City Ballet’s production of Balanchine’s version of The Nutcracker, this retelling springs to vibrant life in Docampo’s elegant, enchanting illustrations; her delicately curving lines, exaggerated shapes, and surreal palette are ideally suited to a story of glamorous holiday parties, fierce battles, and a magical journey to the Land of Sweets. An approachable retelling moves readers swiftly through the events of the story, always emphasizing the magic of the evening at hand (“With a rumble and a shake, the tree began to grow before her eyes.... Marie had never seen anything so big”). Given this story’s connection to the ballet, plenty of time is spent in the Land of Sweets, where Docampo showcases peppermint-striped acrobats leaping with hoops, marzipan flautists en pointe, and other confectionary wonders to spark children’s imaginations. Ages 4–8. Illustrator’s agent: Mela Bolinao, MB Artists. (Sept.)