|Nutcracker in Harlem|
Author: McMorrow, T. E.
In Harlem in the 1920s, in the middle of a family Christmas party, Marie receives a nutcracker from her Uncle Cab, which leads to a marvelous dream in this resetting of E.T.A. Hoffmann's familiar tale. Includes historical notes.
|Added Entry - Personal Name:||Hoffmann, E. T. A|
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 2.80
Points: .5 Quiz: 198222
Kirkus Reviews (+) (09/01/17)
School Library Journal (10/01/17)
The Hornbook (00/11/17)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 09/01/2017 A grand house in Harlem fills with music and dancing on a Christmas Eve in the 1920s. Beside the decorated tree, Uncle Cab gives young Marie a drummer boy nutcracker. Late that night, the tree magically grows to enormous height, while the nutcracker plays his drum, and the toy soldiers and dolls dance. When an army of mice attacks and the drummer falls, Marie beats his drum to rally the troops, who drive away the mice. Marie awakens on Christmas morning and joins her family and guests in singing a holiday song. Drawing on his memories of working as a stagehand for the Dance Theatre of Harlem, McMorrow bases his story on Hoffmann’s classic but gives it a Harlem Renaissance setting and tweaks the details as well. From the dreamy, lyrical jacket illustration to the moonlit street scene to the beautifully individualized portrayals of characters in period clothing, Ransome’s deep-toned watercolor paintings bring the story and its Jazz Age background to life on the page. A familiar ballet story, reinterpreted with style. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 10/01/2017 K-Gr 3—Marie, an African American child, gets a drummer nutcracker figure from her Uncle Cab for Christmas and dreams about toy soldiers coming to life and their battle with the army of mice. Set in Harlem in the 1920s, this version of the classic tale features black characters, and the music is jazz, not Tchaikovsky. Ransome's watercolor illustrations enhance the story handsomely, and the author's end note gives a brief background on the Harlem Renaissance. VERDICT This is a fine addition to the canon of retellings of the E.T.A. Hoffmann tale and the perennially favorite holiday ballet.—Virginia Walter, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.