Monday, November 9, 2009

Book Giveaway and Review: The Nutcracker and the Mouse King / The Christmas Magic

This year we plan to take our daughter to see a live performance of The Nutcracker Ballet. So far her only exposure to the Nutcracker has been a Barbie DVD and she's also listened to the music. We recently took some time to read the actual Nutcracker story together. Tchaikovsky's ballet is based on a story written in 1816 by E.T.A. Hoffman called The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. Our review copy features exquisite illustrations by Gail de Marcken. I had never read the story myself and was surprised by several parts of the plot. First of all, the girl's name in our book is Marie, not Clara. Also, I never realized that the mouse king has seven heads with seven crowns the size of thimbles. See image below:
Hoffman's story is amazingly detailed, especially his descriptions of Toyland. I read aloud the lengthy story in two 15 minute sittings with my preschool daughter. She happily perused the vivid and rich illustrations by Gail de Marcken while listening to the descriptions in the text and especially enjoyed the Toyland filled with sugary treats and a Marzipan castle. She wasn't sure what to make of the seven-headed Mouse King or the poor Princess Pirlipat who was turned into an ugly doll. All those who enjoy the Nutcracker Ballet should read the actual story at least once in their lifetime. It's a superb holiday read!

The Nutcracker and the Mouse King illustrated by Gail De Marcken [written by by E.T. A. Hoffman]. Orchard Books (September 2009); 56 pages; ISBN 9780976865582;
Book Source: Review copy provided for free by publisher (View my full disclosure statement for more information about my reviews.)



"Every year, just when the nights are longest and the stars shine brightest, Santa feels a tingling in his whiskers. Then he knows that the Christmas magic will soon be here." - The Christmas Magic by Lauren Thompson, illustrated by Jon J. Muth

Christmas is a magical time a year, with dancing, falling snow, smiling faces, sparkling lights and brisk temperatures causing frosty breaths. Even Santa Claus is not immune to the wonders of the season. He feels the magic in his whiskers long before his magical flight on Christmas Eve.

Bestselling author Lauren Thompson poetically describes Santa's preparations and the magic of his journey in her newest book, The Christmas Magic. There's so much to do and Santa, in his bunny slippers, gets to work by trimming his beard, feeding the reindeer, polishing the sleigh bells and checking the big book of children's names. Finally, the magical night arrives and Santa sets off flying up into the glorious, bluish, snow-filled sky.

Jon J. Muth brings out the minimalist in Santa Claus in his watercolor and pastel illustrations. Santa's sparse surroundings include only a small house and barn for his reindeer. Readers won't find elves, Mrs. Santa Claus or any of the typical North Pole hustle and bustle in this quiet, reflective book. Just Santa Claus alone with his reindeer and a cat. The book provides young readers an unusual, alternate glimpse into the life of Santa Claus. The simplicity of it all is striking and, well, downright magical.

The Christmas Magic by Lauren Thompson, illustrated by Jon J. Muth . Scholastic Press (September 2009); 40 pages; ISBN 9780439774970;
Book Source: Review copy provided for free by publisher (View my full disclosure statement for more information about my reviews.)




Thanks to Scholastic and Big Honcho Media, Brimful Curiosities' readers can enter to win the books.

Two (2) winners will receive both books:

* The Nutcracker and the Mouse King
* The Christmas Magic

To enter, leave a comment relevant to this post.

• For contact purposes, if you are a non-blogger or your email is not accessible in your blog profile, please leave a valid email address within the comment section.
• Contest is open to US only
• Contest ends on Monday, November 30th, 2009 at 11:59 PM CST.
• Winners will be chosen at random and notified by email
Three ways to gain extra entries (Maximum total entries is 4):
1st extra entry: Follow Me! or subscribe by email or RSS reader
2nd extra entry: Blog about this contest then post your link in the comment section.
3rd extra entry: Follow me on twitter (iambrimful) and tweet about the contest.

119 comments:

wmmahaney said...

Every year I fill our coffee table with Christmas stories to read to my boys. These would be a wonderful addition to our collection. I do not have either of these.
wmmahaney at att dot net

clenna said...

It's time to introduce my grandkids to the Nutcracker. I can't wait to read these books to the kids.

clenna at aol dot com

Anonymous said...

I adore the Nutcracker. I'd love to read it to my class.

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

holdenj said...

I love that Santa has bunny slippers! And both of the covers are beautiful, I'm sure the inside illustrations are wonderful. Thanks!
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

Trapped and Screaming said...

Every home needs a copy of the Nutcracker. It is classic! And, it makes it so much more worth while when you go to see the ballet to already know the story!

karenmed409 said...

Our little ones are getting a bit older, I think they may sit down long enough for me to read them the story of the Nutcracker
karenmed409 at comcast dot net

scottsgal said...

I would love to win these for my niece they look like wonderful books

msboatgal at aol.com

scottsgal said...

I follow via google reader and also a follower

msboatgal at aol.com

karenmed409 said...

tweet http://twitter.com/karenmed409/status/5577795314
karenmed409 at comcast dot net

Desiree said...

I'd love to share these with my daughter!


Desi
weeshareblog@gmail.com
http://weeshare.blogspot.com

Desiree said...

blog follower


Desi
weeshareblog@gmail.com
http://weeshare.blogspot.com

Desiree said...

http://twitter.com/WeeShare/status/5579324780

Desi
weeshareblog@gmail.com
http://weeshare.blogspot.com

The Allen Family said...

When I was little my grandma took me to the Nutcracker play and I loved it. I'd love to read these to my sons.

Sue said...

My niece is dancing in the Nutcracker this month and I'd love to win this to give the book to her for Christmas. Thanks for the giveaway!

s.mickelson at gmail dot com

Mkokopelli said...

We only have 1 Christmas book and I'd love to add to our collection! My daughter had been watching the Princessa Nutcracker DVD and I think she'd love to see the whole story.

mkokopelli@aol.com

Mkokopelli said...

Follow and Tweeted http://twitter.com/Mkokopelli/status/5582015226

mkokopelli@aol.com

LadyD said...

My daughter danced in the live performance... so proud! :)

Follow

Blog http://ladyd-books.blogspot.com/2009/11/book-giveaway-nutcracker-and-mouse-king.html

Follow and Tweet http://bit.ly/3c0wtw

Thank you!

Libby said...

Oh, what beautiful books. I love the Nutcracker story, and The Christmas Magic looks wonderful. I love the quote you posted.

Thank you,

smithln2(at)si(dot)edu

Dolphin Girl said...

My son's class is doing a little dance to the nutcracker, I would love to share this book with him. Thanks!

Haleyknitz said...

My ballet teacher would love these books--she uses books in her class for kids all the time :D

haleymathiot at yahoo.com

Haleyknitz said...

I follow you on twitter and tweeted twitter.com/haleymathiot

haleymathiot at yahoo.com

thanks!!

GFDesignz said...

Beautiful books!

I am a follower and email subscriber

girlfrienddesignz(at)gmail(dot)com

ossmcalc said...

These are books that I would love to share with my grandson and start a tradition of reading these each year to help share the magic of Christmas.

ossmcalc said...

I follow you and subscribe by email and Google Reader.

Thank you,

Christine
womackcm@sbcglobal.net

ossmcalc said...

I follow you on Twitter and tweeted about this giveaway http://twitter.com/ossmcalc/status/5629092823

Thank you,

Christine
womackcm@sbcglobal.net

rubynreba said...

My granddaughter has been to a Nutcracker production and loved it. She would really like this book.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

Katrina said...

so far we have no christmas books so this would be a perfect addition to her book collection and to add some christmas spirit

ykatrina at hotmail dot com

Leonard Family said...

I would love to win these books for my daughter! I would like to start introducing her to the Nutcracker and look forward to taking her to see the live performance when she is older.

dropcqueen at yahoo.com

Beth (BBRB) said...

These look so beautiful! I always saw the Nutcracker every year as a kid!

BethsBookReviewBlog AT gmail DOT com

ChristiS said...

My niece is dancing the part of the Snow Queen this year in The Nutcracker. I'm so proud of her! I'd love to give her this book to in honor of her senior year performance!

dctm said...

I would love these for my children. My daughter and I went to see the Nutcracker and she loved it.

Christie C
dctm at bellsouth dot net

Amy B. said...

These would be great books to read to my kids.
Thanks for the giveaway!
Amy B.
adennispac@yahoo.com

Amy B. said...

I'm a follower
Thanks for the giveaway!
Amy B.
adennispac@yahoo.com

Kristie said...

These would be wonderful books to read with my little ones!

khmorgan_00 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Staci said...

I've never read the actual Nutcracker before either, and I didn't realize many of the details you mentioned. I had no idea the mouse king had 7 heads either! But the illustrations look amazing. They both sound like great books!
mommastaci33(at)yahoo(dot)com

lmkirb said...

Every day before quiet time I read to my daycare kids. I like to be able to read to them books pertaining to holidays that are approaching and I would love to add these to our collection. I think the older kids would really enjoy them.
Thanks for the chance!!

JK said...

I would love to have these books to help my little girls get in to the holiday season. I love Christmas. I love books! Good combination. :)
jaimiemildred at gmail dot com

Honey Mommy said...

I love holiday books! Right now we are reading Thanks for Thanksgiving and we love it!

I have a small collection of Christmas books and would love to add to it. (Our current fav is Mortimer's Christmas Manger).

Cassie M said...

I saw the Nutcracker Ballet as a child and I loved it! We also own the Barbie DVD you mentioned, and hope to take our toddler in the coming years!
Cassie
cjm92995@yahoo.com

minishoes1 said...

The kids would love these! I am crossing my fingers! Thanks! jacquecurl1@gmail.com

Lindley A said...

We read a new holiday book together every Christmas Eve- last year it was Polar Express!
linjenals at yahoo dot com

GabbyLowe said...

timmiedeluca@comcast.net

http://twitter.com/GabbyLowe/status/5740955079

tweeted

amanda said...

i think my son would enjoy me reading these books to him duting the holiday season!
thompson_tanda@yahoo.com

justicecw said...

These would be great for our family for the holidays. Thanks for the chance, justicecw@hotmail.com

justicecw said...

Follow on twitter and tweeted at http://twitter.com/justicecw/status/5787995300
justicecw@hotmail.com

barefootinhighheels said...

I can't believe Christmas is around the corner -- I need to get some nice Christmas picture books for the holidays. These look amazing!

Thanks --

Lori

Marie said...

I would love to share these with my children!

marielay@gmail.com

clariline98@yahoo.com said...

Please include me in the contest!
clariline 98 at yahoo dot com

Megan said...

Christmas is my favorite holiday and reading is my favorite hobby. How fun it would be to win these books to combine the two!

mearley@twinlakes.k12.in.us

Jake Lsewhere said...

Looks like a good book, please enter me into this drawing.

Thanks for hosting this giveaway.
jake.lsewhere[at]gmail.com

Jake Lsewhere said...

I'm a follower via Google Reader.

Thanks for hosting this giveaway.
jake.lsewhere[at]gmail.com

Jake Lsewhere said...

I've also blogged about this giveaway here.

Thanks,
jake.lsewhere[at]gmail.com

betsy said...

Both books look great, but I am really looking forward to sharing The Christmas Magic with my children.

betsy_349@hotmail.com

Janet and Maya said...

The illustrations by Jon J. Muth are beautiful. I love the theme of simplicity amidst all the modern Christmas craziness.

mayacarpenter at verizon dot net

Janet and Maya said...

I'm a follower.
My daughter's next "theme" in school is Nutcracker - perfect timing!

mayacarpenter at verizon dot net

Janet and Maya said...

I follow you on twitter and tweeted http://twitter.com/janetmom2maya/status/5967102148

thanks for the button to make it easy peasey!
mayacarpenter at verizon dot net

Janet and Maya said...

I blogged here
http://giveawaysonblogs.blogspot.com/2009/10/ends-113009.html

mayacarpenter at verizon dot net

shopannies said...

my son has long time been a mystified by nutcrackers I would love to win these for him
shopannies@yahoo.com

shopannies said...

posted on my blog http://shopannies.blogspot.com/2009/11/fan-of-nutcrackers.html
shopannies@Yahoo.com

Bingo said...

My 4year old great niece is enchanted with the Nutcracker..this would be a perfect gift for her..thanks for the chance


kdhaney AT gmail DOT com

noreen said...

we are going to the nutcracker Saturday and next month the girls will be dancing to nutcraker songs for their ballet recital

Nancye said...

My daughter would love these books! We haven't been to The Nutcracker, but I know she'd be mesmerized.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I follow you on Twitter and I Tweeted

http://twitter.com/NancyeDavis/status/6000588503

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

celi.a said...

It used to be a yearly tradition for us to go to the Nutcracker ballet. What a fun experience! I still love to listen to the music (year-round), but I have to admit that I've never read the original book. Something I should do...

celialarsen(at)gmail(dot)com

AStarrA said...

You know I have always adored the Nutcracker but have never owned a book about it, would love to win and share my love for it with my daughter

disintegratingstarr@hotmail.com

CanCan (Mom Most Traveled) said...

My mom collects Nutcrackers so my kids are interested in the story. My 5 year old liked the Prima Princessa Nutcracker DVD and we have a higher level picture book, but I would love to see if these versions don't go "over their heads".

onlycancan ta hotmail tod com

Winning Readings said...

We posted about this giveaway at Winning Readings: http://winningreadings.blogspot.com/2009/11/two-christmas-books_28.html

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

Winning Readings said...

I'm looking for more Christmas books for my daughter, and these look beautiful!

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

Raising a Happy Child said...

I would love to win those books! We are thinking of going to see Nutcracker too this year.

elliesue said...

My Granddaughter has Barbie and the Nutcracker, and I would love her to have a book to read about it as well .

Anonymous said...

If I was the lucky winner of these lovely books; I would share them with my preschool class!
Zoe0825@verizon.net

Anonymous said...

I'm a faithful follower of your blog!
Zoe0825@verizon.net

Anonymous said...

I love giving my grandchildren books for Christmas. These would be perfect.

SamneneD@aol.com