Hidden in Saint Petersburg's famed Mariinsky Theater are the world's tiniest ballet fans: the Mariinsky mice, including Esmeralda, a rising dancer in the Russian Mouse Ballet Company. Despite being unable to control her tail, Esmeralda has just been assigned the lead role of Clara in a ballet debuting at Christmas: The Nutcracker. But when she learns that the new ballet features mice as villains, her excitement turns to horror: the mice of Saint Petersburg will never come to see such a production.
Meanwhile, nine-year-old Irina is convinced that the mice she's seen in the Mariinsky -- the mice her father, the custodian, is supposed to exterminate -- are not only fans of the ballet, but dancers themselves. No one will believe her, so it falls to Irina to help save the mice everyone else considers vermin...and perhaps to help Esmeralda ensure the future of the mouse company.
Sweet and inventive, Kristin Kladstrup's ballet fantasy features artwork by beloved illustrator Brett Helquist, old-fashioned drama, and just a touch of holiday magic.
"Kladstrup has crafted a dual tale filled with charm, humor, conflict, and danger. The humans (most of them, at least) are out to exterminate the mice; Tchaikovsky is especially rodentophobic, while Irina is especially sympathetic and helpful. Esmeralda emerges as the perfect main character. She faces trials as a dancer...[s]he displays courage and know-how in obtaining costumes from Irina’s doll, crafts an appropriate mouse version of the story, and best of all, she finds her dance muse in the gloriously enchanting score." -- Kirkus Reviews
|Recommended Age||7 - 10|
|Publication Date||Oct 24, 2017|