cover image The Nutquacker

The Nutquacker

Mary Jane Auch. Holiday House, $17.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8234-1524-3

Auch's (Bantam of the Opera) latest fowl farce unfortunately lays an egg. A cover illustration of a duck in front of a Christmas tree, donning a tiara and dancing dress and holding a nutcracker, suggests a laughter-filled lampoon of Tchaikovsky's holiday ballet. But the story, about Clara the duck's search for Christmas, meanders and then disappoints in a contrived ending. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)