Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A HOLIDAY TRADITION! THE NUTCRACKER: A REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

  GIVEAWAY ENDED
THE NUTCRACKER
BY E. T. A. HOFFMAN
Translated by Ralph Manheim
ILLUSTRATED BY MAURICE SENDAK

ABOUT THE BOOK:
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 designed brilliant sets and costumes for the Pacific Northwest Ballet's Christmas production of Nutcracker and created even more magnificent pictures especially for this book. He joined with the eminent translator Ralph Manheim to produce this illustrated edition of Hoffmann's wonderful tale, destined to become a classic for all ages.

The world of Nutcracker is a world of pleasures. Maurice Sendak's art illuminates the delights of Hoffmann's story in this rich and tantalizing treasure. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
E.T.A. Hoffmann was born on the 24th of January 1776 in Königsberg (now Russia) as the son of a lawyer. After his father's death he has a very bad childhood ending when he went to university to study law between 1792-95. He managed to get into the bureaucratic services of the state Prussia, but was not considered too well. Stations in Bamberg, Poland and elsewhere followed until he succeeded in getting good jobs in Berlin, lastly as a judge after 1814. Hoffmann died on the 25the of June 1822. Hoffmanns interests were widespread. He wrote music, painted pictures and, of course, wrote excellent examples of German literature. His scurrile style of writing, together with a critical tone in many of his works, earned him not too much renommee during lifetime. Today his music and paintings are nearly forgotten, but his writings stand as fantastic examples of German late "Romantik", for example the "Kater Murr" or the "Sandmann". Often connected to the dark side of the soul or the human being, Hoffmann wrote "normal" literature too, but his fame is basically grounded on the "dark" literature.

ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR:
Maurice Sendak received the 1964 Caldecott Medal for Where the Wild Things Are. In 1970 he received the international Hans Christian Andersen Medal for illustration, and he remains the only American ever awarded this honor. In 1983, Sendak received the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award from the American Library Association, given in recognition of his entire body of work. He also received a 1996 National Medal of Arts in recognition of his contribution of arts in America. He continued writing and illustrating up until his death in 2012. 

ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR:
Ralph Manheim, translator of Grimm's Fairy Tales and many other works, was a renowned German-language translator. Born April 4, 1907, New York, he died on September 26, 1992, in Cambridge, England. He was an American translator of German and French literature, as well as occasional works from Dutch, Polish and Hungarian. He likened translation to acting, the role being "to impersonate his author". 

MY THOUGHTS/REVIEW:
THE NUTCRACKER by E. T. A. Hoffman, translated by Ralph Manheim, is sure to become an enchanting gift to treasure over the years. With Maurice Sendak as the talented illustrator, discover little Marie who receives the gift of a nutcracker for Christmas. She is fascinated by it and becomes quite fond of this unusual gift. Marie takes him to her room and that night, as she sleeps, the Nutcracker comes to life and a huge battle ensues. All of Marie’s other dolls and her brother's cavalry men are in the battle.

The story goes on, like a story within a story, when Godfather Drosselmeier tells her about a princess who is cursed by a mouse queen. In order to break the curse, the parents must find a boy who can crack the very hard nut called the Krakatuk. After searching for many years, they find such a man and with great relief they even promise that he can marry the princess. He indeed cracks the nut, but the mouse queen interferes once again and turns him into a hideous nutcracker. The princess sees all this and doesn't want to marry him. But as the story goes, Marie is the one to save the nutcracker in the end and he rewards her by taking her to a land made of sweet treats and candy.

This is a summation of the basic story but thanks to the superb translation, there is really so much more than most who only see the ballet know about. All is not, however, just sugar plums and fairies as there are also some evil mice and the battle is not a pretty one. While not really a book for the younger child, the older children will enjoy the story perhaps read over a few days. Most of all is the richness of the illustrations by Maurice Sendak, which for anyone who knows his work can tell are his. Some are even dark but fit the parts of the story that are as well.

This version of THE NUTCRACKER is a beautiful addition to everyone’s holiday book collection and if for no other reason, you will get your money’s worth just by looking at the amazingly vivid illustrations. Leave it out over the holidays and watch how many adults will flip through it and start discussions over it drawn from their memories of this holiday classic! Yes, this is a great idea to add to your gift list especially for that hard to buy for person!
  GIVEAWAY

THANKS TO DANIELLE AND CROWN PUBLISHING
WITH RANDOM HOUSE, I HAVE ONE COPY OF THIS
GORGEOUS BOOK TO GIVE AWAY TO A LUCKY
WINNER THIS HOLIDAY SEASON! 
   
--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES
---INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
IN CASE YOU WIN!
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE TO
 

COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!


HOW TO ENTER:
+1 ENTRY: COMMENT ON WHAT YOU THOUGHT ABOUT THE NUTCRACKER THAT MADE YOU WANT TO WIN THIS BOOK, AND DON'T FORGET YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS

+1 MORE ENTRY: BLOG AND/OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND COME BACK HERE AND LEAVE ME YOUR LINK

+1 OR MORE ENTRIES: COMMENT ON WHETHER YOU HAVE SEEN, OR DANCED IN, THE BALLET OF THE NUTCRACKER AND IF YOU LIKED IT OR NOT

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON ONE WAY THAT YOU FOLLOW MY BLOG. IF YOU FOLLOW MORE THAN ONE WAY, YOU MAY COMMENT SEPARATELY TO RECEIVE EXTRA ENTRIES
GIVEAWAY ENDS AT
6 PM, EST, DECEMBER 31
GOOD LUCK!   
    

95 comments:

debbie said...

This is a beautiful book. I love the illustrations, and the nutcracker is one of my favorite ballets. I would love this book.
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I entered arsenic and old cake.
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Steve Capell said...
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Steve Capell said...

This is a wonderful book to have in any library. The wife and I arranged to see the live performance of the Nutcracker this year performed by the Kansas City Ballet and the infamous Tchaikovsky music played by the Kansas City Symphony ... needless to say the entire production was magically fascinating. I am very interested in this holiday classic illustrated by Maurice Sendak. I hope all have Merry Christmas filled with many blessings for you and your family.

steven.capell@gmail.com

rubynreba said...

The illustrations are beautiful and it would be a wonderful book to add to my library!
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

rubynreba said...

My granddaughter danced in The Nutcracker 2 years ago and we were fortunate to go to the wonderful performance! I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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rubynreba said...

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Patricia said...

I'd love to give this to my niece and nephew!

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Patricia said...
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traveler said...

A lovely book which is a treasure. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I am an e-mail subscriber. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

Many years ago when my boys were very young we saw the performance. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

suburban prep said...

I love the ballet. I have a number of the German nutcrackers on display around my house during the holidays season. I love the illustration from your description of the book. I would love love to be able to read the book to my nieces and nephews.

msgb245 at gmail dot com

suburban prep said...

I used to go see the ballet each year. I unfortunately have not been for a number of years.

suburban prep said...

I follow via Rss reader feed.

petite said...

This beautiful book is a great giveaway. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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I am a follower. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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I am an e-mail subscriber. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

I have seen a performance of the Mutcracker and it was memorable.

Margie said...

I'm sure the illustrations in this book are wonderful. This would make a great coffee table book for the Christmas season. Thanks for the giveaway.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

I have never seen The Nutcracker, but I would like to.
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Carol N Wong said...

I have seen the Nutcracker ballet so many times and have a record (and a record player too)of it but have never seen this book before. I would love to see the illustrations and read this book!

Carol Wong

Carol N Wong said...

I tweeted:

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Carol N Wong said...

Yes, I never danced in but I saw 'The Nutcracker' at the Indiana University auditorium several times.

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I follow your blog with an
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clenna said...

I have always loved the story of the Nutcracker. I want to share this with my grand daughter and next year when she's 5, I'd like to take her to see the Nutcracker performance in Boston.

clenna at aol dot com

clenna said...

I have seen the Nutcracker Ballet several times in Boston and I loved it.

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clenna said...

I posted on my FB page because I don't have a blog or a tweet account: https://www.facebook.com/clenna/posts/507096285979743

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scottsgal said...

I'd love to have this book sitting on a table during the holidays for friends and family to enjoy.

scottsgal said...

I have seen the play and really enjoyed it - never danced or was part of a production of it.

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Tina said...

A Classic....anything illustrated by Sendak has got to go onto my shelves.

tbranco24 AT gmail DOT com

Tina said...

I've been to the Nutcracker and loved it.
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I subscribe via Google reader.
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I'm also an email subscriber
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Patricia said...
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Patricia said...

I've seen The Nutcracker and loved it!
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I follow with Twitter (@CapitalismRox)

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Tweeted:
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Sue Farrell said...

I'm interested in the book because of the illustrator. Maurice Sendak is just so talented and I enjoy his work.
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Sue Farrell said...

I have only seen bits and pieces of the ballet, but I love the music from the Nutcracker.
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I am an email subscriber.
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Gianna said...

I love illustrated stories.
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