The Nutcracker Comes to America

The Nutcracker Comes to America : How Three Ballet-Loving Brothers Created a Holiday Tradition

4.02 (187 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Illustrated by 

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Every December, The Nutcracker comes to life in theaters all across the United States. But how did this 19th-century Russian ballet become such a big part of the holidays in 21st-century America?

Meet Willam, Harold, and Lew Christensen, three small-town Utah boys who caught the ballet bug in the early 1900s. They performed on vaudeville and took part in the New York City dance scene. Russian immigrants shared the story of The Nutcracker with them, and during World War II, they staged their own Christmastime production in San Francisco. It was America's first full-length version and the beginning of a delightful holiday tradition.
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Product details

  • 9-12
  • Hardback | 36 pages
  • 241 x 287 x 10mm | 431g
  • Minneapolis, United States
  • English
  • Illustrations, color
  • 1467721514
  • 9781467721516
  • 2,671,365

Review quote

"William, Harold, and Lew Christensen grew up in a small Utah town in the early 1900s. When they discovered ballet, they worked hard at it and took their acrobatic dancing to Vaudeville, where they learned showmanship as well. Later William staged selections from The Nutcracker in Portland, while Harold and Lew danced in New York. In the 1940s, Lew served in World War II and William and Harold worked with the San Francisco Ballet, mounting the first full production of The Nutcracker in the U.S. Restaged by the three brothers in 1949, it became an annual holiday tradition. Best known for writing the Sibert Honor book The Day-Glo Brothers (2009), not to mention Shark vs. Train (2010), Barton offers a lively, colorful text and follows up with a very informative time line, illustrated with period photos, in the back matter. In her picture book debut, Gendron turns in a virtuoso performance. Her handsome illustrations capture the distinctive posture and poise of ballet dancers, while portraying even minor characters as individuals. Suffused with light and warmth, the varied, imaginative paintings include dynamic textured effects as well as an inventively used ribbon to tie pages together. Even readers familiar with The Nutcracker will probably learn a good deal from this engaging picture book. Bravo! Brava!"--starred, Booklist

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Rating details

187 ratings
4.02 out of 5 stars
5 29% (54)
4 47% (87)
3 23% (43)
2 1% (2)
1 1% (1)
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