The Nutcracker
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The Nutcracker

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  4,386 ratings  ·  151 reviews
"A classic, new and complete. One of the ten best illustrated children's books of the year."
-- New York Times Book Review

The tale of Nutcracker, written by E.T.A. Hoffmann in 1816, has fascinated and inspired artists, composers, and audiences for almost two hundred years. It has retained its freshness because it appeals to the sense of wonder we all share.

Maurice Sendak de...more
Hardcover, 120 pages
Published September 13th 1984 by Gramercy (first published 1816)
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mai ahmd

هذه الرواية الصغيرة ذات الغلاف العشبي كان أول ما لفت نظري من ضمن إصدارات مشروع كلمة للترجمة حقيقة لا أعرف ما هي حكاية الكسارة وإن كنت أعرف تشايكوفسكي من خلال بعض مقاطع الباليه ولا أعرف إن كانت هناك ترجمات عربية سبقت هذه النسخة وبقيت الحكاية مبهمة تحتاج لأن تكتمل مما أثار فضولي وشجعني على الإقتناء والقراءة

يهدي العراب دروسلماير الطفلة ماري لعبة كسارة البندق في يوم من أيام عيد الميلاد لتصبح هذه الحكاية رمزا مناسبا للتعبير عن سحر تلك الليلة ، تقع ماري في غرام هذا الرجل المسكين كسارة البندق اللعبة...more
Candice Chaloupka
In 1984, Maurice Sendak was asked to illustrate the Nutcracker, written in 1816 by E .T. A. Hoffman. Sendak, the famous illustrator/writer of Where the Wild Things Are, later enhanced his original set drawings for the book version of the story. Out of print for many years, Sendak's Nutcracker has been re-issued, sadly, the same year, Sendak passed away (May 2012).

The illustrations are delightful and reminiscent of other works by Sendak, yet, retaining their own character. On one of the center pa...more
Camille Millar
As a little girl completely mesmerized by the Nutcracker ballet, I could not pass up the opportunity to read the actual story by E.T.A. Hoffman. Translated by Ralph Manheim into this beautifully illustrated edition, I didn't realize what a treat I was in store for. Delightful, delightful! I felt like a little girl again! All the magic of Christmas just pours out of the pages! The illustrator (who also illustrated Where the Wild Things Are) creates the most quaint and intricate scenes. What a leg...more
What a cute book Nutcracker is. I was unfamiliar with the story, and thoroughly enjoyed learning about this weird little tale.

It is weird. I've never seen the ballet, or read or heard this entire story. It's kind of complex. The little girl, Marie, gets a nutcracker for Christmas, and she becomes attached to him. He comes alive, and there's a big battle in her bedroom, involving all her dolls and her brother's hussars.

Godfather Drosselmeier tells her a story about a princess, who gets cursed by...more
Jessica at Book Sake
Having never read Nutcracker and having never seen the ballet, I wanted to pick this one up for a new holiday read. If you are unfamiliar with the story as I was, it focuses on a little girl and the story behind a nutcracker that is given to her family during Christmas. The story features more violence than I would have imagined, with the rat family threatening multiple people, war, and horrible spells. It also features a land made up of candy items and candy is featured prominently in the story...more
The Nutcracker is a book to treasure with the whole family. If you are wanting to start a new tradition or continue an old one then you should make sure that The Nutcracker is one of those traditions. This is a classic book. With a great story and breathtaking illustrations.

I definitely was cheering for the nutcracker. He was the silent hero and good guy that won. In this book the mouse king and his army were scary. This was with help from the illustrations. I have not had the pleasure of seein...more
There are many versions of Hoffman's classic Christmas story, but I enjoyed this one immensely due to the dreamlike drawings of Scott Gustafson. It's like being in a little shop off a crooked alleyway, where a clockmaker's sign hangs over the entrance. Old world mixed with enchantment.

Looking at armed mice dressed as 17th century musketeers or gingerbread cookies come to life was a true delight. The colors are vibrant and if you happen to be playing Tchaikovsky in the background, the better. Thi...more
Drew Graham
Marie Stahlbaum loves Christmas and all its magic and wonder (even with her older brother Fritz's teasing). When eccentric Godfather Drosselmeier presents his extraordinary and elaborate annual gift, Marie is much more taken with a simple Nutcracker doll she finds at the foot of the Christmas tree. But Fritz puts the little man to the test, leaving some of his wooden teeth broken. Marie is determined to nurse Nutcracker back to health, but finds herself caught up in the magical adventure of a li...more
My wife's a fan of E.T.A. Hoffman, so when I found out about this edition with illustrations by Maurice Sendak (furthering work he did for an American presentation of the ballet) I figured we should have it. The pictures do not disappoint, and are actually a more realistic departure from his slightly caricaturish typical style. And there are alot of them.
The story is a lovely one, though I feel it becomes a bit wearisome at points. Hoffman's (or perhaps his translator's) tedious descriptions of...more
Recently my mom gave me The Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffmann, beautifully illustrated by Roberto Innocenti.

I'd always heard that the "real" nutcracker story was significantly darker than the Christmasy-fun ballet, and yep - it's true. I'm reading a chapter after dinner each night to the kids, and so far Marie (not Clara as in the ballet) has cut her arm on a cabinet and fallen to the floor unconscious. Godfather Drosselmeier appears to have morphed from the ballet's lovable eccentric to a good cand...more
Wendy Hines
The Nutcracker is a beautifully bound book with intricate and vivid illustrations that probably held more of my attention than the story but that's not to say the story was lacking in any way. It wasn't. E.T. Hoffmann retails the age-old story of the Nutcracker. A little girl receives a nutcracker for Christmas, and the story centers on her and the Nutcracker. There is some violence, but it pales in comparison to the fantasy element and the humor.

It is a longish book for a child, just over a hun...more
The Nutcracker and the Mouse King is very different from the ballet which made it famous. While the novel version is written as a play itself, a majority of the characters and plot will be foreign to those who endeavor to read it.

The story is about a young girl named Marie, a nutcracker under a magic spell, and a Godfather named Herr/Doctor Drosselmeyer. While many of the thematic elements from the book were carried over to the classic ballet, the history of the Nutcracker and the main story arc...more
Nicola Mansfield
Reason for Reading: I have never read this classic Christmas story and thought it would be a wonderful addition to my Christmas reading this year. I am also a huge fan of Maurice Sendak.

I have not ever read the Nutcracker before, nor have I ever seen the ballet. I am not a ballet-type person. Neither have I seen a movie version of the story. I *have* seen some Christmas movies which featured a girl who was in the ballet and have a very basic knowledge of the story from that, so I was very intere...more
Having been raised on Tchaikovsky's ballet, I was thrilled to find the volume containing not only Hoffman's original tale, but Alexandre Dumas's retelling as well.

The story consists of five narrative movements: the introduction, the legend regarding the birth of the Princess Pirlipat (Pirlipata, or even in one instance Pirlapatetta in Dumas's version), the dynamics betwixt the Nutcracker and the Mouse King, the journey through Toyland, and the conclusion which culminates in Marie's (Or Dumas's M...more
Ryan G
Believe it or not, I have never read Nutcracker before, I've never seen the ballet, nor have I ever seen the various TV productions that have come out over the years. Despite all of that, I still had a vague idea of what it was all about. I knew it was about a young girl who loved her Nutcracker and how that Nutcracker battled the evil Mouse King.

What I didn't know, was all the stuff that happened in between. I didn't know that there was this rather creepy godfather who was a genius clockmaker...more
This is not just a hackneyed version of "The Nutcracker" dressed up by the magnificent illustrations of Maurice Sendak. On the contrary, this book (beautifully printed and bound) features the original story written by E.T.A. Hoffmann, later watered down for the famous ballet. While I have always loved the ballet in any form, this story is far superior to the traditional one, and captured my attention from the very start. As Sendak wrote in his preface about the version familiar to audiences toda...more
Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)
Everyone is familiar with the classic tale of The Nutcracker, which is a perfect holiday read. What is special about this edition of The Nutcracker are Sendak's illustrations. Readers might remember Sendack as the author and illustrator of Where the Wild Things Are. Although The Nutcracker is a familiar story for some, Sendak's illustrations really enhance this classic tale and make it such an enjoyable read for children and children at heart.

I personally LOVE The Nutcracker and have gone to see...more
I went to the Nutcracker Ballet every year as a little girl. It was such a tradition I can't remember not going, but at some point I stopped going. I don't remember how old I was, maybe when I stopped believing in Santa? Maybe later. But schools used to go on field trips to see it I remember. It was A BIG DEAL! And I haven't seen it since I was a little girl. But I vaguely remembered bits and pieces of it. A girl in a white dress. A soldier, a battle, a rat soldier. All of it was kind of way bac...more
This is a beautiful reissued edition of the Nutcracker, (Crown Publishing - October 2012) of the timeless story by E.T.A. Hoffman, originally written in 1816 is truly a beautiful book. It's release is perfect timing for 2012 gift giving.

Although most of us have read or at least had someone read the Nutcracker to us at some point in our lives, it's always a treat to revisit the story around the holidays. I also love the way the ballet has brought this story to life in new ways at this time of ye...more
Cynthia ☮ ❤ ❀
Hardcover, 120 pages
Published October 2012 by Gramercy (first published 1816)
ISBN: 051755285X (ISBN13: 9780517552858)
Edition Language: English
Original Title: Nußknacker und Mausekönig: Aus: "Die Serapionsbrüder"
"On the twenty-fourth of December Dr. Stahlbaum's children were not allowed to set foot in the small family parlor, much less the adjoining company parlor--not at any time during the day." Nutcracker

If you grew up reading Where the Wild Things Are, and you love the luscious illustrations...more
I'm guessing there were only ten books entered in whatever competition claimed this nightmare was one of the 10 best illustrated children's books. Great Christmas present for a kid you don't like.

The book starts with a meandering and poorly written introduction that does little except accomplish that Maurice Sendak wanted to follow the actual Nutcracker story, not the more popular ballet story. However, he was already working on the artwork for a Seattle ballet production of "Nutcracker" (which...more
E.T.A. Hoffman
Maurice Sendak

My " in a nutshell" summary...

This is the original story and its illustrations with a lovely introduction by Maurice Sendak...who also designed the sets for the original ballet production.

My thoughts after reading this book...

I think that Maurice Sendak was looking for a different kind of Nutcracker...a sort of story within a story. Apparently in his quest to create something different and unique he drew on the sets he created and then added mor...more
Vera Godley
As a young child, I danced ballet and throughout my life I have enjoyed the beauty, precision, and strength represented by the performances. The music of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker has always enchanted me. To see E.T.A. Hoffmann's NUTCRACKER performed so graciously would be a real treat.

The collaboration of Maurice Sendak as artistic designer with the Pacific Northwest Ballet for E.T.A. Hoffmann's NUTCRACKER brought the story to a new level of intensity revealing the darker side of the story and "...more
Caitlin Schwatka
Rereading this book was like pressing the rewind button and going back in time to my childhood. From the dream-like plot to the unique painting of the illustrations, this book holds inside what every good story should contain. Clara, like most little girls, feels a sense of magic dancing through her home on Christmas Eve. This feeling grows much larger when her uncle comes to visit and brings her no regular doll, but a nutcracker. This timeless story takes Clara from her family room, to a battle...more
While this was a FAR superior translation to the edition I attempted to read last year (it was so badly written and made so little sense I had to quit), it seems like a whole lot of to do for very little story. The rat king is so easily defeated and the story of the Hard Nut makes so little sense and in the end... an eight year old gets married? Yay? I can see the basis for all the iconic elements we've all come to recognize and adore, of course, and I can even see its influence oh other such se...more
Auntie J
The best version of "The Nutcracker" ever. Movie version is "Nutcracker: The Motion Picture" (NOT the version with Macauley Caulkin), The Pacific Northwest Ballet, set and costumes designed by Maurice Sendak. Beautiful and magical. Only available now used on VHS - which is a shame.

Disclaimer: I have noticed that my review is displaying not only with the book I reviewed, but also with completely different "Nutcracker" books (which has yet to be corrected by Goodreads, although I have made the req...more
Having adored the music and spectacle of the Nutcracker ballet for years, I wanted to see what the source material was like. Long story short: pretty good. This is a classic fairytale and reads like one. I appreciated that the conflict with the Mouse King goes on for a good part of the story - in the ballet it seems to be a very rushed affair and then the rest of it is all merrymaking in the Land of Sweets. (view spoiler)...more
To me, this is the best version of the Nutcracker story, because it was based on the sets that Sendak did for the Nutcracker ballet (for the Pacific Northwest Ballet Company, in 1984, I think).

The story is deftly told, and can keep the attention of even very young listeners, but, of course, the artwork is the star of this book (just as it was in the ballet).

Not everyone knows that Hoffman revered Mozart. Sendak did. Within the ballet, there is a vignette that feature Mozart's music, and within...more
This was a translation of the original story rather than a summary of the ballet. Our oldest daughter enjoys watching the ballet on Youtube, but I think this story is still a touch too old for her. I may get it out from the library again in a year or two and try reading it to her a chapter at a time.
I have seen and read a lot of Nutcracker books. Nutcracker by E.T.A Hoffmann is just beautifully done. I was so happy to get this book. My almost 23yr old daughter LOVES the Nutcracker, this book will be read many times. My daughter has a 3yr old daughter and a 2yr old son. We will take turns reading it to the kids. I recommend anyone with kids to buy this book. Really this is a book for anyone. It is just a wonderful story and I think everyone should read this story at least once. Buy the book,...more
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Ernst Theodor Wilhelm Hoffmann, better known by his pen name E. T. A. Hoffmann (Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann), was a German Romantic author of fantasy and horror, a jurist, composer, music critic, draftsman and caricaturist. His stories form the basis of Jacques Offenbach's famous opera The Tales of Hoffmann, in which Hoffman appears (heavily fictionalized) as the hero. He is also the author of...more
More about E.T.A. Hoffmann...
Der Sandmann Tales of Hoffmann Das Fräulein von Scuderi (Reclam Universal-Bibliothek, Nr. 25) The Life and Opinions of the Tomcat Murr The Devil's Elixirs

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