Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker

Karen Kain
Illustrator:  Rajka Kupesic 
Picture Book
For ages 4 and up
Tundra Books, 2005   ISBN: 978-0887766961

Misha and Marie are always "squabbling." Even on Christmas Eve they cannot help arguing. Of course they are both very excited to begin the Christmas celebrations, and they are especially eager to see what kinds of gifts their father has got for them.

Soon all the guests have arrived and Uncle Nikolai has given everyone their gifts, everyone except Marie. Marie cannot help crying and then her uncle surprises her by giving her a nutcracker, a beautiful wooden creation which Marie won't let anyone, especially Misha, touch.

Fitfully Misha and Marie try to sleep. Then they are woken up and a most extraordinary adventure begins filled with strange creatures and most of all with Marie's magical nutcracker.

This telling of the Nutcracker story is quite special, for is told by someone who has performed in the National Ballet of Canada and the illustrations were created by an artist who is also a dancer. Children who have seen the ballet (or who are going to see it) will love to hear the story and they will be captivated by the paintings with their rich colors and gold details.