STARRED REVIEW
November 22, 2017

Empathy, for squeak’s sake

By Brett Helquist & Kristin Kladstrup
Review by

Combining the talents of seasoned children’s author Kristin Kladstrup and the renowned illustrator of A Series of Unfortunate Events, Brett Helquist, this new take on a classic tale makes for a perfectly nostalgic Christmas story.

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Combining the talents of seasoned children’s author Kristin Kladstrup and the renowned illustrator of A Series of Unfortunate Events, Brett Helquist, this new take on a classic tale makes for a perfectly nostalgic Christmas story.

It’s 1892, and St. Petersburg’s famed Mariinsky Theater is preparing to debut its latest ballet: The Nutcracker. But the cast and crew don’t know that in the spaces between the walls, the mice who call the theater home are also hard at work staging their own production. But will a mousy audience come to see a ballet that features their kind as villains? It’s up to Esmerelda, rising star of the Russian Mouse Ballet Company, and her comrades to come up with a solution. They may need help from an unlikely source: a human girl named Irina with a kind heart and a clever mind, who may prove indispensable in saving both productions, human and mouse, of the soon-to-be Christmas classic.

This sweet, nostalgic tale evokes the thrilling joy of dance and music, and shows that such a feeling is universal in all creatures, big and small. It’s steeped in all the drama and romance of old-fashioned show business, and the setting of the theater provides a perfect backdrop for the story to unfold. Tinged with the magic of the season, this novel makes for a perfect read-aloud story for all ages to enjoy.

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The Nutcracker Mice

The Nutcracker Mice

By Brett Helquist & Kristin Kladstrup
Candlewick
ISBN 9780763685195

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