Kate McMullan Nutcracker Noel

ISBN 13: 9780062059109

Nutcracker Noel

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9780062059109: Nutcracker Noel

Noel is disappointed when she gets the role of a tree instead of the role of the dancing cookie doll in her ballet class's production of The Nutcracker, but fate intervenes on opening night. Reprint. PW. SLJ. NYT. AB.

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From Booklist:

Ages 6-9. Noel wants to dance in a real ballet, and the operative word here is dance. She is disappointed to learn that she will be performing as a tree in The Nutcracker. Meanwhile, another young dancer, Mia (known as Cookiekins to her ubiquitous, mink-coated mother), is making the most out of her part as gingerbread-cookie doll. Noel can't help but be jealous; however, with her teacher's encouragement, she decides to get inside the part, to become the tree. On the day of the performance, she gets an unexpected reward. She's the one who gets to wear a shimmering white gown sprinkled with snow, while Mia is stuck with a baggy brown costume, including a big old head that covers her completely. In a moment of generosity, Noel shares her secret with Mia: "You are a gingerbread cookie. Believe it, and no one who sees you will ever forget your Christmas cookie dance." That's a nice sentiment, and there's another at the book's conclusion in which Noel decides that being a tree isn't exactly her dream--it's better. What cuts the sugar are the text's humor and the arch paintings that slyly depict every bit of jealousy and backstage antics that take place even at this age group. Featuring elongated figures with almost Pinocchio-type noses, the watercolor pictures are delightfully distinctive, lively, and full of wit. Quite a performance. Ilene Cooper

From Kirkus Reviews:

Noel dreams of being a star in a ``real'' ballet, but alas- -in her class production she's only a tree, while arch-rival Mia, of the winsome curls and doting mother, is a gingerbread doll. Suffering pangs of envy, Noel connives for a change. When Mia falls, she scoots for her place, but Miss Olga's in full control; while Mia hops back up and her mom anxiously hovers, the teacher shouts, `` `Parents out! Second-to-last tree, back in line!' '' In the end, a surprise awaits the ambitious tree: her tiered white costume is lovely, the scene where it appears lit magically by candles, while the drab cookie costume covers poor Mia's head entirely; a happy Noel finds herself magnanimously comforting her adversary. From a creatively composed frontispiece of the eager parents, seen from the rear, crowding a doorway to peer at their rehearsing offspring, Jim McMullan portrays the denizens of the dance class with amused affection, satirizing postures and posturing with equal skill. A delightful addition to the annals of young performers. (Picture book. 3-8) -- Copyright 1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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McMullan, Kate
Published by HarperCollins Publishers (1996)
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Kate McMullan, Jim McMullan (Illustrator), Jim McMullan (Photographer)
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