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The Nutcracker Doll

Written & Illustrated By Mary Newell DePalma


A little girl gets her wish to dance in The Nutcracker ballet!

Kepley can't wait until she's old enough to dance in The Nutcracker ballet. She practices hard in ballet class, and remembers to smile at the audition - even though her tummy's doing pirouettes. When the envelope comes in the mail, Kepley's elated. She's a doll! Then come rehearsals, fittings for her poufy dress, and finally... opening night. The Nutcracker Doll takes readers backstage and into the heart of a small dancer as she makes her giddy stage debut.


Reviews and Awards

"A young girl sets a goal and achieves it in this charming picture book... DePalma’s watercolor and pen-and-ink illustrations are lively and realistic." - School Library Journal

"Young ballet dancer Kepley tries out for a part in The Nutcracker. She gets a small role that involves no dancing - she’s a doll standing under the Christmas tree - but her enthusiasm is big, and ballet fans will share her excitement about being involved in a professional dance production. Airy pen-and-wash illustrations convey moments both large and small, from Kepley’s audition in the high-ceilinged hall lined with girls waiting their turn to Kepley giggling along with the other “dolls” during rehearsal. The text thoughtfully keeps the spotlight on the young dancer’s feelings in a book that’s as sweet and delectable as a Christmas cookie." - Horn Book

"DePalma’s straightforward text and streamlined, representational watercolor illustrations look simple, but they incorporate the details that authenticate the story and make readers feel like insiders... Neatly turned." - Publishers Weekly

"In this charming picture book inspired by her daughter’s participation in Boston Ballet productions, DePalma offers a realistic portrayal of a young dancer’s professional-performance debut.... Young ballerinas will be gratified by details that show firsthand knowledge of the ballet-training scene, such as rehearsal fashions like pink tights altered into footless capris. Although this will slot nicely into seasonal readings, young balletomanes will find the performer’s-eye view fascinating year-round…" - Booklist

"DePalma’s short, easy-to-understand text unfolds in a clear, linear fashion, making many of the various aspects of a ballet production understandable.... Little girls who are studying ballet or getting ready to attend the show will enjoy reading about Kepley’s successful performance." - Kirkus Reviews


Purchase Options
Indiebound • Amazon • Barnes & Noble


Fall 2007
Picture Book
ISBN: 0-439-80242-3
Price: $16.99/$20.99
Trim Size: 8" x 10"
Page Count: 32
Foreign Rights: Scholastic
Translation Rights: Scholastic
Rights Available? yes


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