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Nutcracker Ballet History With Special Role of Marie in Beautifully Written Picture Book From the Dancer Herself

Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read-aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.

Inspiration for All Little Girls Who Can See Themselves in the Role of Marie From The Nutcracker

All little African-American girls can finally dream of being Marie in The Nutcracker

All little African-American girls can finally dream of being Marie in The Nutcracker

Inspiration for All Little Girls Who Dream

Charlotte Nebres' autobiographical story and picture book of her experience of the first little African-American girl to dance the role of Marie in the Christmas presentation of The Nutcracker with the New York City Ballet is a beautifully presented inspiration for all little girls who have dreams of what they could be and do. Charlotte and the Nutcracker : The True Story of a Girl Who Made Ballet History is here for the holidays and all little readers will want to have this book as a special gift.

Charlotte Nebres began dancing at the age of two year old. She begins her work at the barre along with the other students and she finally becomes strong enough to balance at the ballet barre. She always attended the Christmas performance of The Nutcracker with her family and she dreamed of seeing herself in the role of Marie. Charlotte practiced faithfully everyday because she understood that becoming a professional ballerina took practice. The New York City Ballet company always chose some students from the ballet school that Charlotte attended and she hoped to be one of them one day. She finally receives news that she will dance the role of Marie. She knows to look for her mom's face in the audience. Charlotte dances the role for weeks and Christmas Eve finally arrives. She and her family prepare delicious dishes that are traditional from their heritage of the islands of Trinidad and the Philippines. Charlotte loves the magic of Christmas and The Nutcracker ballet. There is a special gift for her under the tree this year.

Alea Marley contributed her talents as an illustrator to fill the pages of Charlotte and the Nutcracker: The True Story of a Girl Who Made Ballet History. Charlotte's story and picture book was published by Random House and has an ISBN of 978-0-593-37490-0.

Delightful Illustrations Help Tell Charlotte's Story

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Interview With Charlotte Nebres

Bring the Magic of The Nutcracker Into The Classroom for Fun Holiday Activities

Bring Charlotte's inspirational story and picture book into the classroom for activities for the holiday.

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*Read Charlotte and the Nutcracker: The True Story of a Girl Who Made Ballet History in a story time session.

*Have a collection of nutcrackers for students to keep in the classroom for the holidays. Invite students to bring a favorite nutcracker to class if their family has a collection of nutcrackers.

*Show a video of the Christmas performance of The Nutcracker by the New York City ballet.

*Charlotte Nebres has a family cultural background from Trinidad and the Philippines. She shares with her family some special food and cultural activities evey year for Christmas. Have a globe for students to locate the islands of Trinidad and the Philippines.

*Prepare the special recipe from Charlotte's book with dough-wrapped spicy meat.

*Prepare the cultural activity of searching for the hidden pickle in a Christmas tree. Research the meaning of this activity that children from Trinidad and the Philippines participate in for Christmas.

*Prepare a cultural activity of smashing a peppermint candy pig as Charlotte does with her grandpa. The prize is winning the largest piece of this special treat.

*Enage students in a discussion of some of their family traditions that are enjoyed at Christmas. Invite parents from another culture to the classroom to talk about some special cultural activities that their family incorporates into their holiday celebration.

*Engage students in a discussion of what their future dreams are. What do they want to do as a special dream that they have?

*Prepare an art center for students to design a nutcracker. Offer tissue tubes for a base, construction paper, markers, crayons, and glitter to create their own nutcracker.

*Play the music from The Nutcracker for students to listen to during the day.

© 2021 Cindy Hewitt

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