cover image Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite

Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite

Anna Harwell Celenza, illus. by Don Tate. Charlesbridge, $19.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-57091-700-4

Putting a jazzy spin on the holiday, Celenza tells the true story of how Duke Ellington recorded his rendition of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite. Tate’s mixed-media artwork keeps tempo with Celenza’s vibrant writing (“A little Vegas glitz appeared here and there.... Hollywood glamour mixed with the Harlem Renaissance as each dance tune fell into place”), incorporating piano keys, musical notation, swirling colors, and Nutcracker motifs spiced up with a big-band flavor. An upbeat Christmas book about breaking boundaries and experimenting with new ideas. Includes a recording of Ellington’s suite. Ages 6–9. (Nov.)