The Nutcracker and the Four Realms: A Center Stage Pop-Up Book

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Nutcracker Pop Up

The Nutcracker is a well-known and beloved Christmas story performed yearly by ballerinas all across the country. This book, and the recently released movie, puts a new and different twist on Clara’s life. Clara’s mother has passed, and Clara discovers Four Realms or “otherworlds” of which her mother had been the queen. At a pageant held for Clara, a beautiful ballerina dances gracefully and elegantly, bringing the story to life. Not all the “otherworlds” are happy ones, and Clara’s goal is to make all the worlds peaceful once again. 

I read this book to my three-year-old neighbor.  She was very enchanted by the story and the illustrations.  The pop-ups, color, and designs were nothing short of captivating. She repeated words while I was reading the book to her.  I additionally had a six-year-old read the story to me. This book was perfect for her reading level, as mysterious, reenacting, chateaus, menacing, and radiates were the only words that gave her pause.  For a first grader, I believe she is a strong reader. 

After she finished reading, we discussed comprehension. She remembered each of the Four Realms, and she commented on someday hoping to dance with her father too. We both wanted to live in the Third Realm, the Land of Sweets. She told me that she hopes to go see the movie with two of her dance friends soon. When I asked her if she liked the book, she gave me the cutest grin, wink, and a thumbs up! 

This is a delightful book. The illustrations are colorful and vibrant, and the pop-ups are creatively designed making the book come to life as the ballerina stays center stage. This book definitely makes the reader want to see the movie for a more in-depth story.   

Grade: 
4.5 / 5.0