The Nutcracker: A Papercut Pop-Up Book
By Shobhna Patel
The magic of Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Nutcracker comes to life in this theatrical pop-up book created by papercut artist Shobhna Patel, whose delicate laser-cut pop-ups will enchant readers young and old. Patel has invented a new paper-engineering technique called the “paperscope,” which is used for the first time in this charming book.
The classic story begins on Christmas Eve when a little girl named Clara and her brother Fritz are gathered around the Christmas tree to celebrate with family and friends. Their mysterious uncle, Drosselmeyer the toy maker, gives Clara a beautiful wooden nutcracker who magically comes to life when the clock strikes midnight. So begins an enchanting adventure featuring all of Tchaikovsky’s original characters: the soldier mice, the Sugar Plum Fairy, and of course a handsome prince.
The Nutcracker is made all the more extraordinary by Patel’s intricate laser-cut illustrations. The book features four pop-up paperscopes that spring to life when the reader presses each paperscope down with their hand to reveal the scene hidden within. The effect is one of a magical series of stage sets, recalling the story’s origins as a ballet.
I started editing most of the reviews in 2016 because my PhD in English (a humblebrag if you’ve ever seen one) has to be put to use somehow. So I know “the about” all the books and how good they are, which is super cool in general but also terrible for my budget. And I’m the one insisting on the Oxford comma. It’s the hill I’ll die on. I would kidnap Lily the office dog if a) I didn’t have three cats, b) I don’t also love Heidi and Ross and would never hurt them, and c) I didn’t just make a public record of intent to commit a crime. I also help with posting articles to the websites and doing book round-up articles.