'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 1 December 2010

Review: The Aussie Nutcracker

Heath McKenzie’s illustrations are always a joy to flip through, and in this new Christmas picture book, he has shuffled things up a little and used a slightly different illustrative technique to render his Nutcracker characters.

Using ink and line shading, he adds splashes of colour and lots of typical humour and warm characterization to create yet another gorgeous book for kids.

This time, it’s The Nutcracker that gets the McKenzie treatment, and in it we meet Clare and Felix – two little koalas who are impatiently waiting for Uncle Don to arrive. You see, every Christmas Eve, the old toy maker brought the koalas something special… and this year is no exception.

This year it’s a wooden figurine… a Nutcracker in the shape of a kangaroo soldier… who, of course, comes to life at midnight, pursuant to the classic Christmas tale. We also meet the ‘terrifying’ Mouse King and an army of toy soldiers who are lead by the kangaroo Nutcracker in a battle against the evil mouse.

Not only that, we are treated to a visit to The Land of Lollies, where the Nutcracker and his friends take residence and where Clare partakes in a great feast in her honour, including entertainment by the beautiful sugar plum fairy.

Adding loads of his signature Aussiefication, like the screendoor snapping open, and the scattering of a zoo of adorable Australian animals who take up story roles from soliders to sugar plum fairies, McKenzie’s book is a Christmassy treat for all Aussie families.

WIN! A copy of The Aussie Nutcracker right here on KBR!

Title: The Aussie Nutcracker
Author/Illustrator: Heath McKenzie
Publisher: Black Dog Books, A$14.99RRP
Publication Date: 2010
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781742031613
For ages: 4 - 8
Type: Picture Book

This book is available online