The Nutcracker is a classic Christmas tale that has stood the test of time and seen many variations produced over the years. Here is a selection of some of the versions that are available…
The Nutcracker: A Papercut Pop-Up Book – Shobhna Patel
This version of The Nutcracker is simply stunning. It features four intricately cut pop-up illustrations, amongst the normal pages of text and illustrations. Inspired by Tchaikovsky’s ballet, the cut-outs are finely done, and transform the story into something just a little bit more special as a result. Best suited for older readers (younger children may easily tear the pages), this version would make a beautiful keepsake.
Rating: 4/5 Published: October 2017
The Story Orchestra: The Nutcracker – Illustrated by Jessica Courtney-Tickle
In this rendition of The Nutcracker, Tchaikovsky’s music is brought to life and introduced to a new audience. Each page of the story, beautifully illustrated by Jessica Courtney-Tickle, features a music note symbol, which readers are invited to press to hear excerpts of the composer’s music from his famous ballet of the same name. At the end of the book is a page that gives the name of each of the songs, and a bit of information about the instruments and dances that accompany them.
There is also a short biography on Tchaikovsky for readers interested in learning more about him.
This is a wonderful introduction to classical music, and the ballet, neatly packaged within a traditional Christmas tale.
Rating: 4.5/5 Published: September 2017
The Nutcracker – E.T.A. Hoffmann (Illustrated by Sanna Annukka)
This is the original story of The Nutcracker, written by Hoffmann and adapted from the translation of Mrs St Simon. It tells the tale of a young girl named Marie, whose Christmas gift of a nutcracker (given to her by her Godfather) comes to life and fights in a war against the evil Mouse King. The history of the war between the nutcracker and the mice is recounted, and after their defeat, Marie visits the nutcracker’s kingdom made up of sugarplums and sweets. Shifting between real life and these magical encounters, Marie is able to experience the magic and enchantment of Christmas. This hardcover novel is filled with Annukka’s illustrations, which are inspired by solid colours and folklore, making it a traditional-looking version of this beloved classic.