Top critical review
144 people found this helpful
Not suitable for young children
on December 26, 2005
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.