From the Publisher:
Follow Clara on a magical Christmas adventure in this musical retelling of The Nutcracker ballet—push the button on each beautiful scene to hear the vivid sound of an orchestra playing from Tchaikovsky’s score.
It is Christmas Eve at Clara’s house. Scents of ginger, chocolate, and peppermint waft through the air. Clara’s parents are having a party, and her little brother Fritz is decorating the Christmas tree. Clara’s godfather, a toymaker, arrives with gifts, including a very special one for her—a wooden nutcracker carved in the shape of a little man. After Fritz breaks it, the children are sent to bed.
The story follows Clara in her dreams as she battles and defeats a mouse king, then travels with her nutcracker-turned-prince to the Land of Sweets where she watches its enchanting inhabitants perform beautiful dances. As you and your little one journey through the magical scenes, you will press the buttons to hear 10 excerpts from the ballet’s music, including “The Waltz of the Flowers,” “The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy,” “The Russian Dance,” and the awesome “Finale.”
At the back of the book, find a short biography of the composer, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, with details about his composition of The Nutcracker ballet. Next to this, you can replay the musical excerpts and, for each of them, read a discussion of the instruments, rhythms, and musical techniques that make them so powerful. A glossary defines musical terms.
The Story Orchestra series brings classical music to life for children through gorgeously illustrated retellings of classic ballet stories paired with 10-second sound clips of orchestras playing from their musical scores.
Lincoln Children's Books
Recommended for ages 3 years and older.
See this book IN ACTION:
A: Excellent introduction for kids to Tchaikovsky
I home school my children and we are just starting to study composers. I am not a musical mom. I didn't grow up watching/ hearing orchestras or taking any kind of music lessons. I knew I didn't want that for my kids but also didn't really know where to start. These books have not only made my kids want to hear more of the real songs but me as well.
When we listen to Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker my kids can now tell me what part of the story it is by listening to the music ( because of remembering the book and its lovely illustrations). My 3 year old will yell something like "the mouse king!" And my 6 year old will matter of factly say "that's the sugar plum fairy dancing" (while the 1 year old practices his fine motor skills and claps whenever he successfully makes the music play)
We hope more come out!
B: this book actually sounds like an orchestra
So many musical books for kids feature watered down versions of music, this book actually sounds like an orchestra. I just wish the song clips were longer. The last page has descriptions of the songs and talks about meter, what makes a walz, how some of the songs are inspired by Russian folk music, etc. I learned a lot from this book myself, so great for all age ranges. My toddler loves it and can pronounce “Tchaikovsky” now. Great introduction to music. As other people have mentioned the “buttons” are just circles on the page that cue a sensor on the back of the book so a little hard to press for tiny hands
C: A family favorite
Fantastic book combining the music of the nutcracker with the timeless christmas story. My kids (under 5) can pick out the music of the nutcracker. I wish there were more books like this
Look and listen for other books to learn Classical Composers: