Book Cover
Title The Nutcracker
Author Diane Goode
Illustrated By Diane Goode
Publisher Random House - 1983
First Printing ---
Book Cover
Title The Nutcracker
Author Rita Balducci
Illustrated By Barabara Lanza
Publisher Western Publishing Company - 1991
First Printing ---
Category Children
Warnings None
Main Characters Clara, The Nutcracker, Sugarplum Fairy
Main Elements Fairies, Anthropomorphic


The story of The Nutcracker is of course based on a ballet by Tchaikovsky. Having seen the ballet a few times, seen various adaptations for television, and these two books, I'm not sure what the "true" story is. Meaning both these books were actually quite different, though the overall story of a girl receiving the Nutcracker as a gift, and then in a dream, visiting the land of the Sugarplum Fairy, is all the same. But the names change, and the beings met in the fairy land differ too. Of the two editions I have I like the second one better, the illustrations are prettier and it seemed to follow the story more closely, at least as far as I know it.

But then my favorite version of the ballet comes from Fantasia, with the seductive fishes, the dancing mushrooms and the skating ice fairies. Everyone who celebrates Christmas should experience the Nutcracker suite in some form, especially the ballet itself. And even if you don't celebrate Christmas, the music is simply beautiful, and the tale simply magical.

Posted: December 2010


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