Disney Books have released three books based on Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms film. These would make perfect holiday gifts for the book lovers in your life. Be sure to check out my review for all three below. These really put a different twist on the Nutcracker stories you know.
Get ready to travel to a whole new realm(or should I say 4!) with The Nutcracker and The Four Realms, an extended novelization by Meredith Rusu. In this book, you will find a mysterious metal egg, a magical realm, and an inventive girl named Clara, the main character of our story. Clara’s mother recently died, leaving Clara and her siblings devastated. When Christmas arrived, Clara’s father revealed that their mother left them gifts. As Clara opened her gift, she is slightly disappointed that it is just an intricate metal egg-shaped box with no key.
The time for her godfather’s annual Christmas party arrived and Clara felt awful. She did not want to go to the party without her mother. At the party, her godfather revealed he too had gifts for everyone. Except, this was like a scavenger hunt. To find your gift, you had to find a string with your name on it. Clara quickly found her name. As she followed the string, it led her farther into the mansion. She reached a door in a deserted hall. Clara slowly opened the door only to find, at the end of a long passageway….. The Four Realms. In this book, Clara learns that she needs to stop being sad all the time and instead, have some fun, just like her mother would have wanted.
I enjoyed the flashbacks of when Marie, Clara’s mother, was a little girl. Marie found the Four Realms and quickly made it into a wonderful world. She was rather lonely, though. She invented a machine that brought toys to life. Marie used her favorite toy, a doll named Sugar Plum, first. When Sugar Plum came out alive, Marie quickly put more toys in, creating a whole realm! She divided it into four realms, consisting of: The Land of Sweets, The Land of Flowers, The Land of Snowflakes, and The Land of Amusement. I sure would love to visit The Four Realms!
The only thing I did not understand was the title. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms does not seem to fit the story. The storyline does not follow the original Nutcracker story. In fact, it is completely different. It is an enchanting name, but it just does not seem to fit the story.
Overall, I did enjoy this book. It is a great addition to holiday traditions!
- includes a CD with character voices and sound effects
- Page count: 32
- Age range: 6-8 years
Accompanying The Nutcracker and The 4 Realms (the extended novelization by Meredith Rusu) is Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Read-Along. This book includes a CD with special sound effects. Jane Windsor narrates the newest edition to the Read-Along series, along with the cast of the original motion picture. Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Read-Along is based on the new movie The Nutcracker and the Four Realms and includes film stills from The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.
I like the Read-Along series because you do not need the CD, but the CD makes a much more magical experience. You could just listen to the CD – or just read the book – or use both! It’s like you get 2 different stories instead of just a book or just a CD. I also like how the Read-Along series use film stills instead of illustrations because it is like getting a sneak peek of the movie!
This story does have an important lesson. I learned that when you discover a magical realm and you bring your dolls and toys to life, just make sure that none of them are evil. Just kidding! The main lesson in this story is if you believe in yourself, anything is possible!
- Foreward by Misty Copeland
- Page count: 40
- Age range: 3-5
Along with The Nutcracker and The Four Realms by Meredith Rusu and Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Read-Along is The Nutcracker and The 4 Realms, The Dance of the Realms by Calliope Glass. In this book, Misty Copeland tells the story of The Nutcracker and the Four Realms through dance and words. Misty Copeland plays the ballerina in this movie. In The Nutcracker and The Four Realms, The Dance of the Realms, the illustrations are beautiful and very realistic. I think the illustrator, Marco Bucci, did a great job. He captured all of the facial expressions perfectly, in my opinion. This lovely picture book is for all ages, not just 3-5 year olds.
The illustrations of the pageant are my favorite part. The costumes are colorful and very detailed. The illustrations are dreamy and look like paintings. My favorite part of this whole story is the pageant because I love to dance. I take ballet and think that Misty Copeland is one of the best ballet dancers I have ever seen perform.
This story has a wonderful lesson to learn. Sometimes looks can be deceiving. People you think may be your friends may not be. People you think could harm you could be your friends. Trust your heart and follow what is right.
I’m NDK, and these are my reviews! Happy Holidays!