Monday, October 06, 2008

The Nutcracker

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Kids@Random House recently sent me a beautiful new children's book for review, The Nutcracker, as retold by Stephanie Spinner and illustrated by Peter Malone.

(I love this brief sentence in Spinner's bio: I read straight through my childhood, with breaks for food, sleep, and the bathroom.) Ah, yes, how many of us commiserate intimately with such disclosure?

Mr. Malone's rich artwork typifies the kind of books I would seek out as a child; soft, beautiful pictures that could tell a story with nary a printed word.

The Nutcracker is, of course, an old story written by E.T.A. Hoffman and made famous in musical adaptation by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

Spinner and Malone's version captures the scenes well remembered and cherished with just the right amount of text-to-illustration. (And who hasn't had a shiver or two while thinking about The Mouse King?)

And I know it's only my own interpretation, but wouldn't Sam Elliott make a great Nutcracker Hero? An added treat (no, not Sam E.) - the book comes with a musical CD of Tchaikovsky's beloved masterpiece, a great way to introduce classical music to your own beloved little masterpieces.

Great stocking stuffer!


bill/prairie point said...

That illustration does look a bit like Sam Elliot.

Todd said...

Any new "Nutcracker" adaption would probably be a different story altogether, maybe about a female mafiosa ready to take names and, ur, action.

joared said...

You make this book sound quite inviting to read, and give as a gift. Take the wee ones to a live performance and they'll doubly appreciate this book, I think, or motivate them to want to attend one.

Anonymous said...

Awww, Patty, as usual, you sent me searching to see who one of your favored performers is. After reading the bio on Mr Elliot, I can see why I didn't recognize his name. The only film of his that I've seen was "Butch Cassidy". Sorry I've missed him; and, I'll just have to take your word for his talents.
Cop Car

K. said...

My favorite Sam Elliott roles:

1. The Stranger in The Big Lebowski. "The Dude abides...I don't know about you, but I take comfort in that." He has a perfect wry twinkle in his eyes throughout.

2. General Buford in Gettysburg. A perfect role for him. He is a marvel of physical presence in his last scene -- at the end of the first day's battle -- sitting in a chair, legs crossed, wearily writing a report.

3. Kermit Newman in The Contender. He steals the show cast against type as a volatile chief-of-staff to Jeff Bridges' president. And no mustache!