|Night before The Nutcracker (American Ballet Theatre)|
Author: Allman, John Robert
A behind-the-scenes peek at all the hard work, creativity, and excitement that leads up to the opening night performance of American Ballet Theatre's The Nutcracker.
Kirkus Reviews (09/01/22)
School Library Journal (09/02/22)
The Hornbook (00/11/22)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 09/02/2022 PreS-Gr 3—This picture book collaboration with the American Ballet Theatre serves as an introduction to and celebration of the classic holiday ballet. In rhymed couplets, a group of ballet students makes their stage debut alongside a professional company. True to tradition, the young dancers have special roles in the ballet. Backstage preparations lead to curtain time, followed by a light-handed overview of the ballet's characters and plot, with mentions of the stagecraft that brings them to life. Illustrations are charmingly detailed, featuring dancers and children of multiple skin tones. The softly candy-colored palette helps conjure the magical Land of the Sugar Plum Fairy, and sparkly snowflakes sprinkled throughout the pages add to the wintertime whimsy. Though "The Nutcracker" is well known as a Christmas ballet, the book makes little mention of the holiday specifically. Brief back matter presents the ballet's artistic credits and a summary of each scene, plus renderings of selected costumes. This title is perfect for sharing with young audience members preparing to see the ballet for the first time, or for those wishing to imagine the wonder from home. VERDICT Recommended for holiday collections, or for enjoyment year-round where "Angelina Ballerina" and other ballet-themed picture books are popular. —Shannon Titas - Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 09/15/2022 This lovely picture book features a group of children who are about to dance in The Nutcracker ballet. Lying in their beds the night before opening night, the young dancers recall their auditions, practice sessions, and rehearsals. Practicing their roles mentally while the music plays in their heads, they look forward to tomorrow evening: after entering through the stage door, they'll don their beautifully constructed costumes and take their places on stage as the orchestra begins playing Tchaikovsky’s music. The children imagine dancing each scene under bright stage lights and, after the show, celebrating together before going home to sleep and prepare for the next performance. An appended double-page spread details the action in each scene, creating a helpful synopsis of the ballet. The verse text rolls along smoothly in a series of well-worded rhymed couplets. Using color sparingly but effectively, the illustrator creates a sense of music within the scenes and even reveals a backstage secret (the stilts under Mother Ginger’s skirt). An appealing introduction to the ballet, presented by American Ballet Theatre. - Copyright 2022 Booklist.