The nutcracker and the mouse king
Illustrated by Gail de Marcken
Ages 5 to 8
Scholastic, 2009, 0545037735
Every Christmas Eve, Marie and Fritz Stahlbaum get a special treat, their Godfather Dosselmeier gives them wonderful toys that he has made for them. This year Godfather gives the children a beautiful dollhouse and a wooden soldier nutcracker. Often reckless and in a hurry, Fritz breaks the nutcracker by accident. Compassionate Marie takes pity on the broken soldier and she cares for him tenderly.
The evening Marie stays up a little later than everyone else, and to her amazement some incredible things start to happen. The room fills with mice and then a huge Mouse King arrives. The Mouse King leads his mice soldiers in an attack, which is then repulsed by the Nutcracker and his toy allies. Toy soldiers, dolls, puppets, and animals join the battle, and then…Marie wakes up.
The next morning Marie wakes up and she is in bed. She has a cut on her elbow and she has to stay in bed. One evening, Godfather Dosselmeier comes to visit Marie and he tells her the sad story of the Nutcracker.
Many children are familiar with the Nutcracker story in some form. In this book, Wren Maysen presents her readers with a wonderful adaptation of E.T.A. Hoffman’s original tale. This version of the Nutcracker is more involved than the one used in the Nutcracker ballet, and Gail de Marcken’s rich and detailed illustrations beautifully compliment the magic filled story.
The Christmas Magic
Illustrated by Jon J. Muth
Ages 4 to 7
Scholastic, 2009, 0439774977
Far to the north of here, there is a little house with a red door. This is where Santa Claus lives. Now that the days are getting shorter, Santa gets that special feeling that tells him that the magic will soon be arriving. He has a lot to do to get ready.
Santa calls the reindeer in and he feeds them well. He polishes the sleigh and oils his boots. Santa looks in his big book and decides what each child should get for Christmas. And, of course, Santa waits for the magic.
This beautiful picture book perfectly captures that special Christmas magic that we all eagerly wait for. As we read, anticipation builds up until that special moment in the story when everything is ready.
Jon J. Muth’s illustrations beautifully compliment Lauren Thompson’s lyrical text. Together they give young readers that perfect taste of the Christmas magic that is on its way.
Scholastic is offering two lucky readers a copy of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, and two more a copy of The Christmas Magic. Please drop me a line to be entered in this giveaway.