By: Charlotte Nebres | Illustrator: Alea Marley
A reimagined and modern take on the holiday favorite, this picture book weaves together the classic Christmas tale of The Nutcracker and the true-life story of 12-year-old ballerina Charlotte Nebres, the first Black girl to play Marie in the New York City Ballet’s production.
The only thing Charlotte loves as much as ballet is Christmas. So, when she gets the opportunity to play Marie in the New York City Ballet's The Nutcracker, she leaps at the chance.
Dancing takes practice-hours of adjusting her arms and perfecting her jumps. With the help of her Trinidadian and Filipino families, encouragement from her sister, and a view of her mom and dad in the audience, Charlotte finds the strength to never give up.
In this spectacular debut full of fluid, dynamic illustrations, Charlotte provides youngsters with a multicultural tale of family, dance, and holiday cheer.
Charlotte Nebres is a fourteen-year-old pre-professional ballet dancer. Charlotte was the first Black dancer to be cast as Marie--the young heroine of "George Balanchine's The Nutcracker"--in New York City Ballet's show. Her history-making performance during the 2019 holiday season was covered by the New York Times, CBS News, Essence, GMA, and more. Charlotte is currently a student at the School of American Ballet. Charlotte lives in New Jersey with her parents, brother, and sister.
Alea Marley is a children's illustrator living and working in England. Her books include Everybody's Somewhere by Cornelia Spelman, Loretta's Gift by Pat Zietlow Miller, The Many Colours Of Harpreet Singh by Supriya Kelkar, and A Day So Gray by Marie Lamba.