Each December, generations of children delight in the ballet version of the quintessential Christmas story The Nutcracker. But few have had the opportunity to revel in the richly detailed original tale. Now, in this glorious new edition, acclaimed children's book author and editor Janet Schulman returns to the source'E.T.A. Hoffmann's “The Nutcracker and the King of Mice.” Here we meet Marie, her Nutcracker, the Sugar Plum Fairy, and all the other delightful characters, and we discover the answers to questions left unanswered by the ballet, like why the Nutcracker and the King of Mice were enemies. Artist Renée Graef adds her own enchantment with stunning, jewellike paintings that bring the story thrillingly to life. As an added bonus, this must-have Christmas gift also includes a free audio CD with Tchaikovsky's inimitable musical score and a reading of the complete story by actress Claire Bloom.