From the Publisher
“A magnificent addition to any family, school, or community library Christmas picture book collection, The Nutcracker is a classic Christmas story that is beautifully retold by internationally renowned ballerina Karen Kain and marvelously illustrated by the museum quality artwork of Rajka Kupesic.”
—The Midwest Book Review
“Kupesic’s full-page illustrations … are intense with luminous colors, their rich details making up for their lack of movement. Particularly impressive are the renderings of textured fabrics, draped, folded, and pleated, which seem almost touchable… What this version offers, along with visual elegance, is a simplified, straightforward telling that parents wanting to brief children before a performance will especially appreciate.”
“Kain’s prose dances…and Kupesic’s vibrant paintings glow.“
— Today’s Parent Toronto
“.... Rich in texture, detail, and glowing color, Rajka Kupesic’s illustrations...create a world of romance, beauty, and magic...The doll-like faces of Kupesic’s characters...encourage us to enter with them into this strange and splendid land, glowing with deep blue skies and golden stars.”
— Quill & Quire
“Kupesic’s ornately detailed oil paintings have an Eastern European feel, with rich hues and gilded pages. A distinctly different presentation of a familiar story – a handsome [purchase].”
— School Library Journal
Based on the National Ballet of Canada's production of "The Nutcracker" ballet, this story features a dreamlike Russian setting. This less-familiar version has a battle between the stuffed cats and dogs in Marie's toy cupboard and the stable boy, Peter, as the initiators of Marie and her brother Misha's trip to the realm of the Snow Queen. The sumptuous feast comes alive and dances, so that the children do not get to eat it and the whole production ends with flowers as a promise of spring to come before the children awake in their own beds. Kupesic's elegant oil paintings depict elongated characters in a fanciful setting designed with swirls and curls of icy branches and lush frosted puffs of snow on the landscape. It would be helpful for readers less familiar with this tale to have some author's note or provenance setting the story in relation to the more familiar E.T.A. Hoffman's version, but this version stands on its own as a story of dreams in the midst of harsh weather realities. 2005, Tundra Books, Ages 6 to 10.
Susan Hepler, Ph.D.