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Waltz of the Snowflakes
Cover of Waltz of the Snowflakes
Waltz of the Snowflakes

It is a cold and rainy evening when Gran gives her granddaughter something special: tickets to the ballet. Her granddaughter is reluctant to go. The weather is terrible and they have to wear fancy, uncomfortable clothes. But as the curtains rise on The Nutcracker, the girl's eyes light up as she's introduced to the magic of the theater. The bright costumes, the intricate dances, the magical music, and a new friend all combine to captivate the girl and to bring color to an otherwise dreary evening.
Waltz of the Snowflakes is Elly MacKay at her finest, mixing her acclaimed paper-cut artwork with vibrant colors in this whimsical, dreamlike, and inspiring wordless picture book. A must-have for any ballet- and theater-obsessed reader and the perfect gift to be shared during the holidays or any time of year when the world outside needs a little bit of color and vibrancy.

It is a cold and rainy evening when Gran gives her granddaughter something special: tickets to the ballet. Her granddaughter is reluctant to go. The weather is terrible and they have to wear fancy, uncomfortable clothes. But as the curtains rise on The Nutcracker, the girl's eyes light up as she's introduced to the magic of the theater. The bright costumes, the intricate dances, the magical music, and a new friend all combine to captivate the girl and to bring color to an otherwise dreary evening.
Waltz of the Snowflakes is Elly MacKay at her finest, mixing her acclaimed paper-cut artwork with vibrant colors in this whimsical, dreamlike, and inspiring wordless picture book. A must-have for any ballet- and theater-obsessed reader and the perfect gift to be shared during the holidays or any time of year when the world outside needs a little bit of color and vibrancy.

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About the Author-
  • Elly MacKay was dressed up in fancy clothes and taken to the ballet at the age of seven. She has looked at ballet and theater as special treats ever since. Elly is the creator of Butterfly Park, If You Hold a Seed, and Shadow Chasers. Her artwork is recognized worldwide and sold online. Elly lives by Georgian Bay in Ontario, Canada, with her husband and children.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    September 4, 2017
    Mackay lovingly traces a child’s first experience of “The Nutcracker” in a wordless story that brims with emotion. Pale, dreary scenes open on a rainy winter night, as a girl bristles at having to get dressed up to go to the ballet with her grandmother. Once the ballet begins, color seeps into the images, and the girl’s eyes open wide with delight. Readers see the ballet in progress and audience reactions from the girl, her grandmother, and a boy sitting next to the girl,with whom she develops a shy connection as their skepticism and restlessness is replaced by a sense of wonder. Mackay’s signature cut-paper techniques are especially well suited to a story of the stage as she gracefully explores the magical moment when a theatergoer becomes more than a passive observer and is never quite the same again. Ages 4–8. Agent: Emily van Beek, Folio Literary Management.

  • Kirkus

    September 1, 2017
    The Nutcracker casts its enchantment in this wordless picture book. A scowling young white girl is reluctant to put on fancy clothes and attend a performance of The Nutcracker with her mother. A rainstorm outside, depicted in shades of brown and dark blue, matches her mood inside until the orchestra begins the overture, and suddenly her eyes light up with wonder. Sepia-toned panels of the girl and a young boy and his father, both black, sitting next to her alternate with the lively action and bright colors of Act 1 as the heroic Nutcracker prince defeats the sword-wielding Mouse King. The two youngsters are each caught up in the magic. Act 2 opens with a lovely double-page spread decorated with glimpses of the dances to come, while smiling faces in the sepia panels continue to alternate with panels of colorful performers. The ballet ends and the two children are filled with joy, applauding enthusiastically. Mother and daughter leave the theater and ice dance together in a perfect finale. This wordless tale, told entirely in expressive, graphic format, is a fresh and wonderful addition to the crowded Nutcracker shelves. In MacKay's trademark cut-paper dioramas children can imagine themselves seated in the theater and dancing on the stage. Graphic panels are the perfect presentation format for a favorite ballet. (Picture book. 4-7)

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    October 1, 2017

    PreS-Gr 3-This wordless picture book opens with Christmas just days away, but the only sign of holiday cheer is Gran's holly leaf print dress and her excitement at having tickets to The Nutcracker. Granddaughter is far less enthused at having to venture out into the cold wet night and walk to the theater wearing fancy clothes (except for the high-tops on her feet-a nice touch). The situation is not improved when the boy who teases her in the lobby ends up sitting next to her. But then wisps of color come from the orchestra. The act one scene where Clara receives a nutcracker prince from Uncle Drosselmeyer vibrantly leaps from the page, and both boy and girl are enthralled by the music and the action. Bright backlighting makes MacKay's paper-cut artwork look tangible, as if readers could peel the figures from the book and bring them to life. The absence of text allows the expressive illustrations to tell a multilayered story: the granddaughter's progress from sullen reluctance to joy, her and the boy's relationship of initial animosity to friendship, and, of course, the ballet's plot. Even the title serves dual purposes as a nod to a movement in the show and the spontaneous dance between grandmother and granddaughter through the gently falling snow at the end. VERDICT Theatrical, magical, and very much of the season as seeing The Nutcracker itself.-Joanna Fabicon, Los Angeles Public Library

    Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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