Every year around Christmas, thanks to the perennially popular ballet The Nutcracker, children all across America have visions of sugarplum fairies dancing in their heads--and on the stage. Many kids even perform in it with their local companies and ballet schools. So what better gift than this enchanting paperback version of John Cech's retelling of E.T.A. Hoffman's classic tale, featuring luminous, rich illustrations by artist Eric Puybaret (Puff, the Magic Dragon)? It's perfect for preparing youngsters for a visit to the theater--or just as a goodnight story. This lovely edition includes not only the story used for the ballet, but also other wondrous adventures--including the tale of Princess Pirlipat and an explanation of the origins of the Nutcracker himself. It belongs under every child's tree.