A Christmas Treasure

Summary:

Everyone was having a grand time. It was Christmas Eve and music filled the house. Aunt Addie sang, and Uncle Cab played the piano. When they invited Marie to join in, she declined. Time to open the gifts! Marie received a nutcracker, a soldier who played the drum. That night, Marie dreamt that the Mouse General and his rats invaded the house and pushed the soldiers away. Marie picked up her soldier's drum and began to play. It drove the mice away. Had Marie discovered a gift for music? 


Parent Perspective:
There is just enough of the classic tale that readers who know Tchaikovsky's story will recognize it, but not so much that this is a mirror of the ballet. There is so much to love about this book, particularly when you bring in the history the author puts in his note (in the back). From the beginning, the story looks to be set in a different time, and yet there is a timelessness to it, too. Highly recommended.


Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Beautiful illustrations enhance a well-told and unique seasonal story that embodies themes of families, finding your own way, and music.

Content Awareness Factors:

None.


Type of Book:
This retelling of Tchaikovsky's classic ballet is set in 1920s New York City.
Educational Themes:

The foundation of this book is less its similarity to The Nutcracker Suite and more about Marie's sense of herself. Everyone around her has a musical talent: dancing, singing, playing instruments; but she doesn't feel these things. 

The story is set in the 1920s and celebrates the Harlem Renaissance. The author explains how he chose this as his backdrop. Although this will be seen as a "Christmas book," the music history in his notes are a great launchpad for learning more about music, musicians, and the Renaissance itself.

Reading Level:
unknown
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
9 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
4 and Up
Purchase Recommendation:
Buy. A unique representation of a classic tale. It is beautifully illustrated with a great message for children.

Title The Nutcracker in Harlem
Author T. E. McMorrow
Publisher Harper, Imprint HarperCollins Publishers © 2017
Illustrators James E. Ransome
ISBN 9780061175985
Material Hard Cover
Cost $17.99
Genres Music, Performing Arts, Africa | African People, Holidays, Religion
Reminder: Cover images, amazon.com and indiebound.org links are affiliate links. The Reading Tub can earn income via purchases made via these links. 100% of any income goes directly to our literacy mission.
Other Reviews:

You May Also Like...

Check out these books you may also like

BOOK REVIEW

Author
Valentin Kostrov
Publisher
Sports Marketing International, Inc. © 2003
ISBN
097430820X

BOOK REVIEW

Author
Laurel Snyder
ISBN
9781452118901

BOOK REVIEW

Author
Patricia Hruby Powell
ISBN
9781452103143

BOOK REVIEW

Author
Ralph Covert, G. Riley Mills
ISBN
9780811861113