Mary Engelbreit's

K-Gr 4—The retelling is faithful to Hoffmann's classic story, and the illustrations are in Engelbreit's familiar colorful, rounded, sentimental style. It is refreshing to see an African-American child cast as one of the dancers who serenades Marie and the prince. However, the romance between the Nutcracker-turned-prince and Marie, who appears to be about five years old, is a real stretch here. This version will appeal more to patrons looking for cute holiday books than to fans of the ballet.—Virginia Walter, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies
The text of Engelbreit's version of the Hoffmann classic can be jerky and confusing; readers may think they've skipped a few pages by mistake. The illustrations are what Engelbreit fans will expect: bright and sweet, even during (lightly suspenseful) scenes.

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