I've never been a huge fan of The Nutracker, not the story or the ballet. I always figured it just wasn't for me.
Until this year, when I received a review copy of this version which is based on the original Nutcracker story and is illustrated by Maurice Sendak. This version of the Nutcracker story is absolute perfection.
Nutcracker, written by E.T.A. Hoffman in 1816, is a fascinating story, which I was surprised to find when reading that it is not that similar to the perhaps more famous ballet production on which it is based.
As much as I was enthralled by the words (translation by Ralph Manheim), it was Maurice Sendak's amazing illustrations which were truly enchanting.
And funny. How could you not love this depiction of the Nutcracker?
While the book itself is a little bit of a difficult read for kids, they will be so entranced by the illustrations and by the general story you might just pull off skipping a bit. (Or not.)
Nutcracker is $24.99 and published by Crown in 2012. I highly recommend it, but don't take my word for it - New York Times Book Review called Nutrcacker one of the ten best illustrated books for kids this year.