Synopsis From Dust Jacket:
The tale of the Nutcracker, written by E.T.A. Hoffman in 1816, has fascinated and inspired artists, composers, and audiences for almost two hundred years. It has retained it's freshness because it appeals to the sense of wonder we all share.
Maurice Sendak designed brilliant sets and costumes for the Pacific Northwest Ballet's Christmas production of Nutcracker and has created even more magnificent pictures especially for this book. He has joined with the eminent translator Ralph Manheim to produce this illustrated edition of Hoffmann's wonderful tale, destined to become a classic for all ages.
The world of Nutcracker is a world of pleasures. Maurice Sendak's art illuminates the delights of Hoffmann's story in this rich and tantalizing treasure.
Believe it or not, I have never read Nutcracker before, I've never seen the ballet, nor have I ever seen the various TV productions that have come out over the years. Despite all of that, I still had a vague idea of what it was all about. I knew it was about a young girl who loved her Nutcracker and how that Nutcracker battled the evil Mouse King.
What I didn't know, was all the stuff that happened in between. I didn't know that there was this rather creepy godfather who was a genius clockmaker and would make her and her brother magnificent Christmas present every year. I also didn't know that on one particular Christmas, the young girl, despite her lovely dolls and pretty dresses, fell in love with a little Nutcracker, a gift for the entire family. I didn't know the legend behind the Mouse King or why he was so bent on destruction. I didn't know of the magnificent battles the toy soldiers, lead by the Nutcracker, fought against the hoards of mice. I never would have guess the real identity of the Nutcracker and how he came to be cursed in such a way. I didn't know how action packed, romantic, and plain fun this would be to read. Having illustrations by Maurice Sendak, was icing on the cake.