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Christmas has always been one of my favourite times of the year. The lights, colors, food, togetherness and most of all the celebration of Jesus birth. Since I was a little girl The Nutcracker has been one of my favourite Christmas stories.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this product for review, all opinions are 100% my own.
It was also one of the first Christmas books I read to our little children and it has become a favourite story of theirs as well. So when I had the opportunity to try the newest production from Maestro Classics, The Nutcracker we were all very excited!
The Nutcracker Audio Story From Maestro Classics
The Nutcracker is available in both CD and a downloadable MP3 format. I received the MP3 version. This version of The Nutcracker is an hour long adaptation from the ballet.
In the story, it is Christmas Eve and Clara and Fritz’s parents are hosting their families annual holiday party. The children were very excited to see the mysterious toymaker Herr Drosselmeyer arrived.
This year he brought life-size dancing dolls! Drosselmeyer gifts Clara with a special doll, a nutcracker. However, her brother breaks the new doll and Herr Drosselmeyer must fix it for her.
Later when the party is over and the house is quiet, the tree begins to grow. The battle between the toy soldiers and the Mouse King begins and the little nutcracker doll Clara was gifted with turns into a handsome prince. The prince takes Clara off on a tour of his kingdom.
The music is beautifully done by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the story is narrated by Jim Weiss. There is also an activity book that outlines the story as well as the history of ballet, the music in the Nutcracker and a brief biography of Tchaikovsky. If your children enjoy crossword puzzles there are some activities like this included as well.
Free Lesson Plans For The Nutcracker
Maestro Classics also had free downloadable curriculum to go along with their CD’s. I have to say these are a wonderful resource! With the help of these study guides, you can easily put together a unit study based on the whatever CD you have chosen.
We Love The Nutcracker Story
We have just loved this version of The Nutcracker! At first, I wasn’t sure if we would enjoy it because I don’t normally like abridged versions of books. However, this was just beautifully done. The playing length of this story is an hour long. We split the story up over a few days so that our younger children would be more likely to sit and listen well!
I added it as part of our circle time together, it was a perfect way to end this little part of our day. After listening to a few selections I would read some of the selections from the activity book.
Some of the sections had rather long interludes between the narrations. I wasn’t sure if my younger children would enjoy this or not, but they did! Because they are so familiar with other ballet versions of the story I found they were trying to act it out on their own during these parts.
We have all really enjoyed the story and music and I’m busy planning out a unit study on The Nutcracker to do closer to Christmas. This CD and its study guide will be a big part of our plans!
We have enjoyed The Nutcracker so much that I’m planning to buy another favourite story from Maestro Classics, Peter and the Wolf. From the samples on their website, I can tell this will become another family favourite.
Would you like to listen to a sample? Visit Maestro Classics!
Looking for the perfect gift idea? Amazon has a great price on the boxed set of audio dramas from Maestro Classics!