cover image Nutcracker Night

Nutcracker Night

Mireille Messier, illus. by Gabrielle Grimard. Pajama, $19.95 (40p) ISBN 978-1-77278-091-8

This vibrant tribute to a holiday tradition follows a sensory-filled adventure to a Nutcracker performance. “Swoosh! /go the cars./ Beep! Beep!/goes our taxi” reads the text as a parent and child head to a complex resembling New York City’s Lincoln Center. Grimard’s mixed-media compositions depict the family’s outing and key plot points from the well-loved ballet as Messier’s onomatopoeic phrases dance across the stage (“Voof!/ go the velvet curtains”; “Grrr!/ Grrr!/ Grrr!/ growls the Mouse King”). The interpretation of the Christmas tree that grows enormous as the clock strikes midnight—always a show-stopper on stage—is particularly memorable, featuring the word Bong! in a gradually increasing font size and a glowing, candlelit evergreen towering over the heroine. A charming entrée for ballet-bound children. Ages 3–7. [em](Oct.) [/em]