Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffmann illustrated by Maurice Sendak

“The most wonderful things can be seen if you have the right sort of eyes for it.”

Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffmann with illustrations by Maurice SendakNew from Crown Publishing and in good time for Christmas comes just such a book in a sumptuous edition of  the 200-year-old story of the Nutcracker, a magical tale that opens on Christmas Eve in the Stahlbaum household where Marie and Fritz are excitedly awaiting their Christmas gifts.

Originally published in 1816, Hoffmann’s story demonstrates that children have changed very little in the last 200 years.  This edition of Ralph Manheim’s translation of the text with illustrations by Maurice Sendak was first published in 1984 and has been reissued to mark Sendak’s death which occurred earlier this year.

Nutcracker is a perfect book for bedtime stories. It is an exciting story for children and like the best children’s books has plenty to amuse the adult who is reading it aloud. There are natural breaks at the end of some of the chapters marking logical points at which to say goodnight before resuming the story next time.

Every so often a book comes along that you simply fall in love with and want to hold on to for ever. This one is a keeper.

An advance review copy was provided free of charge by the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Nutcracker by E.T.A.Hoffman, translated by Ralph Manheim with illustrations by Maurice Sendak is published by Crown Publishing. ISBN: 978-0-385-34864-5.