Wednesday, 10 November 2010

The Aussie Nutcracker

The Aussie Nutcracker by Heath McKenzie (black dog books)
HB RRP $14.99
ISBN 978-1-74203-161-3
Reviewed by Vicki Stanton

The Aussie Nutcracker is heath McKenzie's best book so far. Just in time for Christmas, McKenzie Australianises E.T.A. Hoffmann's classic story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. Clara and Fritz become Clare and Felix and their magical godfather Herr Drosselmeyer is Uncle Don.

McKenzie stays true to the story but all the characters (apart from the mice) are depicted as Australian animals. Clare, Felix and Uncle Don are koalas, Felix's toy soldiers are a platypus, goanna, wombat and a possum, and the nutcracker is a giant red kangaroo. I loved the sugar glider cast as the Sugar Plum Fairy, ruler of the Land of Lollies. 

McKenzie's illustrations are as bright, bold and colourful as always with the focus on the characters and the action. The snowy edging around the pages pays homage to the original tale. This book will be a sure Christmas hit, an ideal gift for children or to send to relatives and friends overseas. I highly recommend it.

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