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If You Love a Christmas Tale: The Night Before Christmas and The Nutcracker Review by Amy Christy

Illustrated by Susanna Lockheart
Barron's Educational Series, Inc.
250 Wireless Boulevard
Hauppauge, NY 11788

Though our family focuses on the birth of Jesus at Christmastime, we do enjoy some of the traditional sights and stories of the season. From childhood, most people remember reading the stories "The Night Before Christmas" and "The Nutcracker" and all of the imagination that those tales entail. This charming book contains them both! Beginning with "The Night Before Christmas," you'll share in the "visions of sugarplums," the new-fallen snow, and merry old St. Nick himself. Then join Clara and her "magical Christmas dream" of the Mouse King, the Sugar Plum Fairy, and the Nutcracker Prince. This is a sturdy, colorful book filled with soft illustrations. It is reminiscent of Victorian times, yet the characters are whimsical and fun. It truly takes several readings to fully appreciate the detail of these lovely pictures! Several pages have a changing picture window to add to the book's charm as you turn through each magical scene. This book is enchanting indeed and is sure to be a Christmas favorite for years to come.

Product review by Amy Christy, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, April 2010