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Story Orchestra: The Nutcracker
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.”
Readers should press firmly on the pages to activate the sound board at the back of the book, encouraging interactive learning and introducing children to this beautiful piece of music.
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.
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