The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker

In the words of Maurice Sendak, “Who in the world needs another Nutcracker?” And you certainly don’t need me to review this timeless story by E.T.A. Hoffmann. But in the spirit of the season, I want to honor the brilliant artist Maurice Sendak’s rendition of this classic tale.

This isn’t a book review, but just a nod to one of the books I love so dearly. I received this book for my birthday when I was a youth and cannot tell you how many times I’ve read it. Just looking at the cover evokes wonderful holiday memories with my family and our annual attendance at The Nutcracker at Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts in Pittsburgh.

Sendak’s illustrations are so intricate and layered that you’ll savor them like a delicious sweet. Each time I read this translation of Hoffmann’s tale and indulge in Sendak’s imagery I’m transported back to childhood. Even if you can’t experience The Nutcracker every holiday season, this book will transport you on a fantastical journey of imagination. Perhaps it’s part of your collection that you can pass down to your children and encourage them to do the same.


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