Tag Archives: Maurice Sendak

Children’s Hour: The Nutcracker


Children’s Hour is a feature posted every Thursday here at Lucybird’s Book Blog. Children’s Hour is my time for reviewing children’s picture books. In my job in a nursery I encounter lots of children’s books, and these are the books I use for Children’s Hour.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.


This week’s Children’s Hour is a bit different. I was sent The Nutcracker by the wonderful people at Random House for review. Unfortunately it was a bit too grown-up for any of the kids in the nursery, so I read it myself to review over Christmas. The Nutcracker is the classic story of mouse armies, and toy armies- all started when a ugly nutcracker arrives at Christmas. It’s best known as a ballet with music written by Tchaikovsky.

This particular edition is accompanied by the illustrations of Maurice Sendak- best known as author of Where the Wild Things Are. For me those pictures were what made the book. They were exciting, and sometimes a little scary- in the same sort of way as the wild things are in Where the Wild Things Are. Paired with the words they made things really easy to imagine, especially when the language was a little old fashioned.

There are a lot of words in this book, and it takes a little time for the real story to start, so I wouldn’t recommend it for any child under the age of at least 7.

There is currently a giveaway of this book being hosted right here on Lucybird’s Book Blog. Whynot stop over and enter?

Buy The Nutcraker:

Hardback (£9.59)

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Children’s Hour: Christmas Giveaway!


It’s almost Christmas whooop whoop, and of course that is the perfect time for a giveaway.

Earlier this year Random House sent me 2 beautiful copies of The Nutcracker. The old story was re-written by E.T.A Hoffmann and is accompanied by illustrations by Maurice Sendak. One copy for me to review, and one for my lovely readers.

I accepted the books with Children’s Hour in mind, however it’s not really suitable for the children I work with so I am planning to read it myself over Christmas and use it for my Children’s Hour post on Boxing Day. You can see the amazon page for this book by clicking the image above.

However as I wanted to make it a Christmas Giveaway I’m opening for entries today.

Unfortunately as I have to send the book myself (and it’s a rather large hardback) this giveaway is only open to those in Europe however I will accept other entries provided you are happy to pay for your own postage, just let me know in comments.

To enter just fill in the Rafflecopter by clicking the link below

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Merry Christmas Everyone!

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Children’s Hour: Where the Wild Things Are


Children’s Hour is a new feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

Where the Wild Things Are is a monster book I have been wanting to introduce the toddlers to for a long time. I couldn’t find it at home until recently so had to make do with other monster books (our toddlers are crazy about monsters at the moment- and dragons and dinosaurs). Max really reminds me of some of our kids too, maybe I should start calling them wild things! Certainly Max is one of the most authentic children in children’s picture books whom I have encountered. The story goes that Max is being so wild one day that his mother sends him to bed with no supper. While he is in his room a forest grows up around him, and a sea with a boat just for him. He sails across the sea until he reaches the land where the wild things are. Max is so wild that he scares the monsters and they make him their king.

This is a great book for the children to use their imaginations to tell the story themselves. The ‘Wild Rumpus’ is shown only in pictures so the children can talk about what the monsters and Max are doing. Our toddlers did find this a little hard, but it was interesting to see what answers they did come out with, which were not always obvious. They also enjoyed pretending to be wild things themselves, “roaring their terrible roars”, “gnashing their terrible teeth”, “rolling their terrible eyes, and showing their terrible claws”. I’ve only read it to them once so far but I can see it becoming a favourite.

Buy Where The Wild Things Are:

Paperback (£3.46)

Hardback (£9.09)

 

I would actually love to read In the Night Kitchen to the kids, but I think it might get frowned on.

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Filed under Children's Hour, Fiction review, Picture books