The Nutcracker And The Mouse King

The Nutcracker And The Mouse King

4.5 6
by E. T. A. Hoffmann, Gail De Marcken
     
 

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In this gorgeous telling of The Nutcracker, Gail de Marcken brings E.T.A. Hoffmann's richly enchanting world to life. With beautifully detailed illustrations, the story of THE NUTCRACKER AND THE MOUSE KING will become an instant classic . It's a story readers of all ages will delight in.

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Overview

In this gorgeous telling of The Nutcracker, Gail de Marcken brings E.T.A. Hoffmann's richly enchanting world to life. With beautifully detailed illustrations, the story of THE NUTCRACKER AND THE MOUSE KING will become an instant classic . It's a story readers of all ages will delight in.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Maggie Chase
At the risk of being attacked as a nutcase, I will go out on a sugarplum limb here to say that I am not a fan of the full Nutcracker story. I love the story that is usually told through ballets, but when the [original] story goes into the tale of princess Pirlipat and the search for the Crackatook nut to undo the curse put upon her, I start to sigh and say, "This is just too contrived and silly." Nevertheless, deMarken's illustrations in this version of the famous tale are richly and colorfully detailed on large 11.5" x 11" pages and they provide much for a child to look at while an adult wades through the dense text and stilted dialogue. Though this story supposedly takes place in a bygone era, it is hard to believe children ever spoke to each other as Marie and Fritz do in the opening paragraphs: Fritz: "Marie, did you hear the mysterious sounds coming from the drawing room?" Marie: "What lovely things do you imagine Godfather is making for us?" And, the adults have a habit of beginning sentences with, "Now, children" when addressing them. The story adapter missed an opportunity to add some luster and zip to the plot by paring down the stiltedness of the language and scaling back on the amount of text, much as Susan Jeffers (2007) and Maurice Sendak (1984) did in their versions. It is too bad because deMarken's illustrations are too good to miss. Even though Sendak would argue with me that the ballet makes no sense without the subplots, I would argue that the whole tale is just a bit too convoluted for this crusty reviewer. Reviewer: Maggie Chase
Publishers Weekly
Discerning use of full-page spreads and decorative border art allays Maysen's substantial text in this glowing interpretation. De Marcken's detail-rich watercolors are marked by a vibrant palette (the Nutcracker wears purple and gold, Marie a pink sash-tied dress), while the attention paid to the mechanisms of toys and to dolls' facial expressions (Marie takes the form of a doll) further emphasizes the fantastical nature of the story. This is a loyal and energetic version, best for read-aloud in multiple sittings, given the length of the text. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4–This lavishly illustrated book features sweeping, theatrical watercolor spreads and elaborate borders that help to draw connections between the real-life action, Marie’s dream, and the ballet itself. A brief introduction gives the background of the story’s publication and its connection to the Tchaikovsky ballet. In comparison to the polished and stylish Nutcracker retold by John Cech (HarperBlessings, 2009), this lengthy version features more dialogue–occasionally stilted–and busier, larger illustrations.–Virginia Walter, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, CA
Kirkus Reviews
Hoffman's original 1816 story serves as the text for this version, and readers familiar with the tale through the ballet will find some aspects of the plot are different. DeMarcken's detailed illustrations fill the large-format pages with a charming Nutcracker in a purple uniform, as well as a huge cast of characters from the various fantasy locations visited by Marie and her friend. Illustration placement is varied throughout, with images of different sizes interspersed on each spread, often serving as borders; this clever design keeps the lengthy text from appearing overwhelming. Though the pictures are lovely to look at, this version is really too long for most children and thus will be appropriate only for large collections needing an illustrated edition of the original story. (foreword) (Picture book. 6-9)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780545037730
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
09/01/2009
Pages:
56
Product dimensions:
11.50(w) x 11.60(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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