The Nutcracker The Nutcracker and the Mouse King is a story written by E. T. A. Hoffmann in which young Marie Stahlbaum's favorite Christmas toy, the Nutcracker, comes alive and, after defeating the evil Mouse King in battle, whisks her away to a magical kingdom populated by dolls.
This Christmas story will appeal to parents and children alike.The story and artwork are absolutely delightful.
Hoffmann's story begins on Christmas Eve at the Stahlbaum house. Marie, seven, and her brother Fritz, eight, sit outside the parlor speculating about what kind of present their godfather Drosselmeyer, who is a clockmaker and inventor, has made for them. They are at last allowed into the parlor, where they receive many splendid gifts, including Drosselmeyer's, which turns out to be a clockwork castle with mechanical people moving about inside it. However, as they can only do the same thing over and over without variation, the children quickly tire of it. At this point, Marie notices a nutcracker, and asks whom he belongs to. Her father tells her that he belongs to all of them, but that since she is so fond of him she will be his special caretaker. Marie, Fritz, and their sister Louise pass him among them, cracking nuts, until Fritz tries to do one that is too big and hard, and the nutcracker's jaw breaks. Marie, upset, takes him away and bandages him with a ribbon from her dress.
When it is time for bed, the children put their Christmas gifts away in the special cabinet where they keep their toys. Fritz and Louise go up to bed, but Marie begs to be allowed to stay with the nutcracker a while longer, and she is allowed to do so. She puts him to bed and tells him that Drosselmeyer will fix his jaw as good as new. At this, his face seems momentarily to come alive, and Marie is frightened, but she then decides it was only her imagination. (Wikipedia)