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Nutcracker Hardcover – October 23, 2001

84 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A classic, new and complete. One of the ten best illustrated children's books of the year." -- New York Times Book Review

Language Notes

Text: English, German (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Publishers (October 23, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 060961049X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609610497
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 0.8 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,502,769 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 68 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 10, 1997
Format: Paperback
This book was a gift to my family when I was a child - I loved it then, and enjoy it more every time I re-read. The story is more than just the plot for a ballet. There is a lot of background, description, and insight included, and they do a lot to make the book fantastic. What elevates this work to magnificent is the artwork done by Sendak. It is lush, detailed, and beautiful. I can't say enough about the quality of this book, and urge everyone to find their own copy. This is not just a Christmas story, but a wonderful parable for every season
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By E. Morrison on September 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is beautiful! I received the first edition as a Christmas gift as a child. I cherished it, reading it over and over again. Sendak's illustrations and Hoffman's engaging story are still vivid in my memory. I bought two copies of this re-issue, one for my 3-year-old son and one for my 4-year-old niece. This is what all children's books should aspire to. A wonderful gift for any child.
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134 of 169 people found the following review helpful By M. Desmond on December 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My daughter loves the Nutcracker ballet and I thought it would be good for her to know the full story behind it (I had never heard it myself). The previous reviews and comments on the beautiful illustrations led me to believe this would be a great choice for my 5 year old daughter.

The illustrations are very similar in style to those in Where the Wild Things Are. If you don't like that book, you won't like the illustrations in this one. Also be aware that this is NOT a picture book. There is a very high ratio of text to illustrations.

I also feel the text is inappropriate for young children. The actual story is very dark and the language, while beautiful, is above the vocabulary and experience of most young children. ( "These intrepid and magnificently uniformed troops, consisting of gardeners, Tyroleans, Tunguses, barbers, harlequins, cupids, lions, and tigers, and monkeys, fought with coolness, courage, and perseverance. With their Spartan bravery, this elite regiment would have wrested the victory from the enemy, had not a daring mouse captain leaped into the fray and bitten the head off one of the Chinese emperors, who in falling crushed two Tunguses and a monkey." p32)

I WOULD recommend this book for older children.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Cami on November 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
As a little girl completely mesmerized by the Nutcracker ballet, I could not pass up the opportunity to read the actual story by E.T.A. Hoffman. Translated by Ralph Manheim into this beautifully illustrated edition, I didn't realize what a treat I was in store for. Delightful, delightful! I felt like a little girl again! All the magic of Christmas just pours out of the pages! The illustrator (who also illustrated Where the Wild Things Are) creates the most quaint and intricate scenes. What a legacy he has left behind.

I would chunk the book into three sections-the first being the familiar Act I of the Nutcracker ballet, with all the characters and general storyline similar to the well-known tale, but with charming details that cannot be expressed without words.

The second section is a new story that Drosselmeier tells, "The Story of the Hard Nut", which I thought was just delightful. I found myself chuckling through the whole thing! It tells the tale of how the Nutcracker began to be, and the background story behind the battle between him and the mice.

The third portion picks up with the familiar storyline of Act II, just as mystical in word as the dances and costumes of the Nutcracker ballet.

Because this book is somewhat lengthy for young children (it is, after all, more than 100 pages long), I would probably recommend it to be read over several nights to children with short attention spans under the age of seven. Children above eight years old will love this quick and humorous read, and adults will be so entertained reading this to their children or grandchildren. I think it appeals to little boys and girls alike, with Marie as the heroine, and her brother Fritze a leading man.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
When I was a child I had this book , as well as two audio tape versions of the story. ( one read by Claire Bloom, the other by Christopher Plummer, both are great!) If you go to see the ballet without knowing the backstory it doesn't make much sense.

I also totally disagree that the book ( and the audio versions for that matter) are only good for older children and adults. While the language may be more complex than some story books there is no reason why a young child can't understand it. If parents expose their children to more sophisticated language then they learn it. Toomany books, cds, tv shows etc... talk down to children! If a child is never exposed to language then they can't learn it. My mother and father never talked down or baby talked to me, and exposed me to a wide variety of books, when I was 2 I said "I presume...." in answer to a question my mother asked me. LOL :-)

Just a though.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Michelle E. Dockrey on December 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Maurice Sendak's fabulous sets and costumes for the Pacific Northwest Ballet's Nutcracker are as much a beloved childhood memory for many of us in the Northwest as his well-known illustrations for Where the Wild Things Are. So when I saw this version of the Nutcracker with his illustrations, I simply had to have it. It does not disappoint! I read through it again and again, enchanted by the beautifully detailed full-page scenes and the charming characters dancing all around the text. And if you're only familiar with the ballet and have never read the original story, you'll be as amazed as I was at just how much more there is to the tale. Whether you're a fan of Sendak, the ballet, or just good children's fairy tales, this book is well worth the price.
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