Illustrated by: Alexandra Boiger

Published by: Clarion, 2013

Awards: Bank Street College's Best Books of the Year

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Tallulah’s Nutcracker


There was only one Christmas present that Tallulah really wanted.  When the phone rang, she was sure her wish had come true–and she was right.

“They picked me!” she shouted.  “I’m going to be a mouse in The Nutcracker.  Lots of kids tried out, but they picked ME!”

“I thought you wanted to be the Sugar Plum Fairy.  You said you didn’t want to be a mouse, ever,” said her brother, Beckett.  He loved being a mouse.

 “That was in our dance school.”  Tallulah sniffed.  “This is a real Nutcracker for a real ballet company in a real theater.”

“Can I come see it?”

“Of course you can!  Lots of people will come!”  Tallulah exclaimed.  “And everybody will get to see ME dance!”

In ballet class, all the students congratulated Tallulah.

“What wonderful news!” said her teacher, giving her a hug.  “It’s a great honor!”

“I know it is,” Tallulah agreed, doing chaîné turns around the room.

That day, she worked extra hard.  She turned out her hips and feet in a fabulous fifth position and rose on her toes in a splendid sous-su.

Then she jumped to one foot in a graceful sissonne.  Ballet class is fun, she thought, but being in a real ballet is Big Time.  Maybe I’ll be on TV!  Tallulah could hardly wait.