Jan Brett's striking illustrations and the Christmas classic The Nutcracker are a match made in picture book heaven. When Marie and her brother Fritz receive a special Christmas nutcracker from their uncle, Marie immediately feels something magical. He looks like a real boy, she mused. A real boy with a secret, who came from far away. This feeling is only the beginning of the epic adventure she goes on with the Nutcracker--into the cabinet, through the battle with the mice, and finally to the magical land of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Jan Brett makes this classic her own by setting it in snowy Russia and adding whimsical touches to the favorite elements of the traditional ballet. Enjoying this book will be an instant Christmas tradition for families who love the ballet and those new to the story.