cover image The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker

Illus. by Niroot Puttapipat. Candlewick, $19.99 (12p) ISBN 978-0-7636-8125-8

Puttapipat follows The Night Before Christmas (2007) and Jingle Bells (2015) with another lushly illustrated interpretation of a holiday classic, this time painting the story of the Nutcracker in elegant black silhouettes in ornate landscapes, both realistic and fantastical. A conversational narrative keeps the story approachable, magical, and tense as Clara and the Nutcracker battle the Mouse King before traveling to the Land of Sweets, where the Sugar Plum Fairy takes them to a ball in a show-stopping pop-up that reveals a landscape of delicately cut-out trees, towering spires, and intricate vegetation. It’s a captivating version of this beloved tale that will have readers poring over every detail of the art. Ages 3–7. (Sept.)